Princeton University Library Catalog

Affecting Perceptual Narrowing: Reversing the Cross Race Effect through The Intervention of Perceptual Expertise and Examining its Relation to Implicit Associations

Lites, Ann [Browse]
Senior thesis
Emberson, Lauren L. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year:
Summary note:
In the landmark study implemented by Scott & Monessen (2009), the researchers looked at the concept of Perceptual narrowing, a phenomenon that occurs in face perception, speech perception, cross-modal perception and the perception of musical rhythms (Lewkowix & Ghanznfar, 2006). It is most classically identified as the decline in the ability during the first year of life to discriminate unfamiliar types of perceptual stimuli. This phenomenon has been widely researched mainly because of its strong impact in shaping and tuning an individual’s schema which, in turn, predicts diverse and usually stable behaviors. There have been extremely salient effects of perceptual narrowing in face perception. The focus of this work will be the Cross Race Effect or the Other Race Effect, defined as the inability to recognize individual features in races outside of one’s dominant race group. This inability leads to general lack of the ability to recognize or recall individual faces outside of one’s group. Perceptual narrowing allows for an individual to utilize the technique of categorization in non-dominant groups for faces, seeing the “other” individual as a group rather than an individual. As a result, generally speaking, this phenomenon has the possibility of sitting at the base of much higher-level behaviors, including but not limited to, different forms of implicit associations and bias. The current study work looks at the wide phenomenon of Perceptual Narrowing through the lens of the Cross/Other Race Effect in the face perceptual narrowing behavior in adult. The goal of our work is multipurpose: (i) We seek to identify the Cross-Race Effect in Caucasian Adult Males, (ii) We seek to identify the malleability of the effect, and (iii) We seek to determine if the effect has links to implicit bias, through the classic Implication Association task. The study concludes on a significant reversal of the Cross Face effect and the initial Implicit Association, but does not implicate a causal link between the reversal of the CRE and the reversal of the IAT effect, nor a causal link behind the intervention of the perceptual expertise.