Do individual differences in face recognition ability moderate the other ethnicity effect?

Childs, Michael Jeanne, Jones, Alex, Thwaites, Peter, Zdravkovic, Sunčica, Thorley, Craig, Suzuki, Atsunobu, Shen, Rachel, Ding, Qi, Burns, Edwin, Xu, Hong, and Tree, Jeremy J. (2021) Do individual differences in face recognition ability moderate the other ethnicity effect? Journal of Experimental Psychology: human perception and performance, 47 (7). pp. 893-907.

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Individuals are better at recognizing faces from their own ethnic group compared with other ethnicity faces—the other-ethnicity effect (OEE). This finding is said to reflect differences in experience and familiarity to faces from other ethnicities relative to faces corresponding with the viewers' ethnicity. However, own-ethnicity face recognition performance ranges considerably within a population, from very poor to extremely good. In addition, within-population recognition performance on other-ethnicity faces can also vary considerably with some individuals being classed as “other ethnicity face blind” (Wan et al., 2017). Despite evidence for considerable variation in performance within population for faces of both types, it is currently unclear whether the magnitude of the OEE changes as a function of this variability. By recruiting large-scale multinational samples, we investigated the size of the OEE across the full range of own and other ethnicity face performance while considering measures of social contact. We find that the magnitude of the OEE is remarkably consistent across all levels of within-population own- and other-ethnicity face recognition ability, and this pattern was unaffected by social contact measures. These findings suggest that the OEE is a persistent feature of face recognition performance, with consequences for models built around very poor, and very good face recognizers.

Item ID: 65984
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-1277
Keywords: other-ethnicity effect, face memory, individual differences, face recognition, developmental prosopagnosia, super-recognisers
Copyright Information: Published Version: (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved. Accepted Version may be made open access without an embargo.
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2021 03:52
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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