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Exploring the contribution of motivation and experience in the postpubescent own-gender bias in face recognition

Hills, Peter J., Pake, J. Michael, Dempsey, Jack R. and Lewis, Michael B. 2018. Exploring the contribution of motivation and experience in the postpubescent own-gender bias in face recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 44 (9) , pp. 1426-1446. 10.1037/xhp0000533

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The own-gender bias in face recognition has been hypothesized to be the result of extensive experience with own-gender faces, coupled with a motivation to process own-group faces more deeply than other-group faces. We test the effect of experience and motivation in four experiments employing standard old/new recognition paradigms. In Experiment 1, no own-gender recognition bias was observed following an attractiveness-rating encoding task regardless of school type (single- or mixed-sex). Experiment 2, which used a distinctiveness-rating encoding task, did find a significant own-gender bias for all groups of participants. Experiment 3 on adults found that the own-gender bias was not affected by self-reported contact with the other-gender, but the encoding task did moderate the size of the bias. Experiment 4 revealed that participants with an own-gender sexual orientation showed a stronger own-gender bias. These results indicate that motivational factors influence the own-gender bias whereas no evidence was found for perceptual experience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0096-1523
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 January 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 January 2018
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2020 11:45

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