Contact Hypothesis and Interracial Dating 1

Contact Hypothesis and Interracial Dating 1 - -1 Own Versus...

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-1 Own- Versus Other-Race Face Recognition: Contact Hypothesis Examined in the Context of Interracial Romantic Relationships Molly McMahon College of Human Ecology, Cornell University Human Development ‘12 December, 2011 oh
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McMahon 1 The “Own-Race Bias” (also called “other-race effect”, “own-race effect”, “cross-race bias”, or “cross-race effect”) is the tendency for individuals to perform better in recognition tasks when recalling faces of their own ethnic group and an inability to accurately recognize faces of another ethnic group. Malpass and Kravitz were the first to empirically demonstrate this phenomenon in 1969, and it has since been a topic of interest to social, behavioral, and neuroscientists everywhere. Researchers have pried to discover the mechanisms that have come to cause such effects, and in 1971, Cross et. al. arrived at yet another intriguing discovery: “white subjects recognized white faces more frequently than black faces, while black subjects recognized black and white faces with equal facility” (Cross, Cross, & Daly, 1971). The explanation for this was attributed to the fact that black participants had more exposure to white faces, whereas whites were not accustomed to many black faces (Brigham & Malpass, 1985; Bothwell, Brigham, & Malpass, 1989). However, little support was brought to this so called “contact hypothesis” in following years (Chiroro, Tredoux, Radaelli, & Meissner, 2008; Chiroro & Valentine, 1995; Furl, Phillips, & O’Toole, 2002; Goldstone, 2003; Meissner & Brigham, 2001). Later analyses revealed that the context of the contact- the “qualitative” nature- was more influential in determining ORB as opposed to the amount of contact, or “quantitative” nature (Galper, 1973; Wright et. al., 2003; Vriji & Winkel, 1989). In other words, recognition accuracy for own or other-race faces was indistinguishable when subjects reported high quality interactions among that other race in addition to their own race. One study in particular (Sangrigoli et. al., 2005), revealed that Korean adults who were adopted into European Caucasian families between
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McMahon 2 the ages of three and nine, identify Caucasian faces more accurately than Asian faces, similar to the European participants, whereas Korean participants raised in Korea showed the opposite pattern. Aside from the contact hypothesis, much research has been conducted to examine the differences in the way other-race and own-race faces are processed in the brain. These processing differences include poorer configural coding of other-race faces (Hayward, Rhodes, & Schwaninger, 2008; Maurer et al, 2002, Michel, Caldara, & Rossion, 2006; Rhodes, Hayward, & Winkler, 2006; Tanaka, Keifer, & Bukach, 2004) and poorer coding of component features in other-race faces (Hayward et. al, 2008; Rhodes et al, 2006).
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Contact Hypothesis and Interracial Dating 1 - -1 Own Versus...

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