The Writing’s on the Wall: Hidden Influences of Visual Priming on the Perception of Racially Ambiguous Faces

David Tsai (2010). The Writing’s on the Wall: Hidden Influences of Visual Priming on the Perception of Racially Ambiguous Faces Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author David Tsai
Thesis Title The Writing’s on the Wall: Hidden Influences of Visual Priming on the Perception of Racially Ambiguous Faces
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Eric Vanman
Total pages 75
Abstract/Summary Prior research has demonstrated that perception of race in faces is malleable and, thus, susceptible to the influence of social factors. As such, the present study investigated the influence of visual priming of Aboriginal and European paintings, as proxies for the outgroup and ingroup. Furthermore, the majority of previous studies only examined the perception of individuals whose racial category membership was clear. This was addressed by showing participants photos of Caucasians, Aboriginal and Caucasian-Aboriginal racially ambiguous faces. After viewing each face, they answered two self-report questions in regards to similarity and liking. In addition to this, facial electromyography recorded at the cheek, brow and eye measured implicit positive, negative and genuine positive affect, respectively. The study addressed two main hypotheses. The ingroup familiarity hypothesis predicted that the racially ambiguous faces would be viewed less negatively when participants were primed with the European painting than when primed with the Aboriginal painting. The overexclusion hypothesis predicted that Australian identification would act as a moderator, such that those who have high identification with Australia would be more negative towards the racially ambiguous faces than those who identify less. Results found partial support for both ingroup familiarity and ingroup over-exclusion. As such, a new ingroup familiarity/over-exclusion (IFO) model was proposed to explain the influences of visual priming on the perception of racially ambiguous faces.

 
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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 15:03:16 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology