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Own-race bias - Research Paper Example

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The effect of an in-group voice accompanying a racially ambiguous facial photograph on Black and White subjects’ facial recognition Your Name Date Institution Introduction With the recent increase in the multicultural population of the United States (Pauker, Weisbuch, Ambady, Sommers, Adams, & Ivcevic, 2009), and a forecasted 21% of the population being multicultural by 2050 (Smith & Edmonston, 1997), an understanding of how human social categorization relates to facial memory could help explain the way generations of people will view their peers…
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Download file to see previous pages In this time, black slaves were considered so different and removed from the aristocratic, land owning class of their owners that their enslavement and torture for centuries was written off as being part of the system. Furthermore, during the Jim Crow era and throughout the passing of the separate but equal legislation, African-Americans in this country were viewed as a concrete, separate racial category not only by many whites, but also by the law itself. In many ways, the separate but equal Brown v. Board of Education hearing reflects the rigid, concrete, categorical race structures that were prevalent in this country during that time. Legal terms like separate but equal give an indication of the way people viewed each other at this time. Obviously, strong categorical race structures dominated the way peers viewed peers. Race would have been at the forefront of the way most people viewed each other initially. Before peers could say hello, there would have been a quick, unconscious categorization of the person they were approaching based on their race and the race of the peer. This initial judgment is no different today, but the recent trends in the multicultural population of the United States have given way to blurred categorical race structures. As a system of rigid, concrete race categories is faced with individuals whose backgrounds are composed of two or even many of these categories, the way individuals perceive each other is forced to change. When individuals comprise several racial categories, peers cannot make such easy judgments as were made during previous eras. If a peer appears to be from a racial category one considers his or her own, and this same peer also appears to be from a racial category one does not consider his or her own, initial separation judgments are confused. This recent breaking down of categorical race structures has obvious implications on the way humans perceive one another, but how does this change affect human facial memory? The body of literature has shown that social categorization occurs within the early stages of perception, but lasts only briefly (Brewer, 1988) making it difficult to study. One model that helps explain the way humans remember faces is the In-Group and Out-Group Memory model (Pauker, Weisbuch, Ambady, Sommers, Adams, & Ivcevic, 2009). This model explains human facial perception as a categorization based on whether the perceived individual is of the same group as the perceiver. For example, an Asian person may perceive another Asian face as being “in-group”. Furthermore, Malpass & Kravitz (1969) showed that people have a tendency to have better facial memory of faces they classify as in-group, and lower facial memory of faces they classify as out-group (Malpass & Kravitz, 1969); a finding that Pauker and colleagues have shown to be repeated by over 100 studies (Pauker, Weisbuch, Ambady, Sommers, Adams, & Ivcevic, 2009). The own race bias links individuals’ in- or out-group categorization of others to individuals’ facial memories of these others by explaining that people remember faces they categorize as in-group better than faces they catego ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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