|Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2014-10-21 18:55Z by Steven|
Benjamin Balas, Assistant Professor of Psychology
North Dakota State University
Jessie Peissig, Associate Professor of Psychology
California State University, Fullerton
Margaret Moulson, Assistant Professor & Director of Psychological Science Training
Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- We examined how children and adults use shape and skin tone to recognize faces.
- Participants judged face similarity within multiple race categories.
- We used graphics techniques to match face shape and color in test faces.
- Use of face shape depends on age and stimulus race.
Both face shape and pigmentation are diagnostic cues for face identification and categorization. In particular, both shape and pigmentation contribute to observers’ categorization of faces by race. Although many theoretical accounts of the behavioral other-race effect either explicitly or implicitly depend on differential use of visual information as a function of category expertise, there is little evidence that observers do in fact differentially rely on distinct visual cues for own- and other-race faces. In the current study, we examined how Asian and Caucasian children (4–6 years of age) and adults use three-dimensional shape and two-dimensional pigmentation to make similarity judgments of White, Black, and Asian faces. Children in this age range are capable of making category judgments about race but also are sufficiently plastic with regard to the behavioral other-race effect that it seems as though their representations of facial appearance across different categories are still emerging. Using a simple match-to-sample similarity task, we found that children tend to use pigmentation to judge facial similarity more than adults and also that own-group versus other-group category membership appears to influence how quickly children learn to use shape information more readily. Therefore, we suggest that children continue to adjust how different visual information is weighted during early and middle childhood and that experience with faces affects the speed at which adult-like weightings are established.
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