ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 1164-1171.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.01164

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Own-group bias in face recognition

WEN Fangfang, ZUO Bin(), MA Shuhan, XIE Zhijie   

  1. School of Psychology, Center for Studies of Social Psychology, Central China Normal University, Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2019-04-04 Online:2020-07-15 Published:2020-05-21
  • Contact: ZUO Bin


Research about face recognition shows that people are better at recognizing faces of their own groups (e.g. race, sex, and age) compared to faces of other groups. In recent years, researchers have conducted experiments to explore such own-group biases in face recognition. Two competing theoretical explanations for this own-group bias are the Perceptual Expertise Hypothesis and the Social-Cognitive Approach. Researchers proposed two models based on an integration of these two approaches: the Categorization- Individuation Model and Dual-Route Approach, and explored its neural mechanisms, implications for cognitive processing, and sensitivity to factors such as perceivers, targets, and evaluationtasks. Important future directions include improving the ecological validity of the study, putting forward with a comprehensive theoretical model and strengthening cross-cultural comparative studies.

Key words: face recognition, own-group bias, perceptual expertise hypothesis, social-cognitive approach, categorization-individuation model, dual-route approach to other-race effect

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