Examining the cross-race effect in face recognition from a temporal perspective

Kyle Joseph Susa, University of Texas at El Paso


Known as the cross-race effect (CRE), psychological research has consistently shown that people are extremely inept at identifying the face of a person who is from a race that is different than their own. While the CRE has most often been demonstrated in recognition memory, its effects have also been found in temporally preceding cognitive stages. The purpose of the current study was to examine the psychological underpinnings of the CRE by using a path-model analysis to estimate how temporally preceding mechanisms may mediate the cross-race effects demonstrated in recognition memory. Specifically, results estimated the mediating influences of interracial contact and social attitudes along with racial categorization, perceptual discrimination, and recollection. Temporal models assessing own-race faces and other-race faces demonstrated strong model-fit. Parameter difference estimates between the models suggests that own-race face recognition is strongly mediated by recollection, while other-race face recognition is more strongly mediated by perceptual discrimination. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental

Recommended Citation

Susa, Kyle Joseph, "Examining the cross-race effect in face recognition from a temporal perspective" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1449753.