The Same Race Bias for face recognition is a phenomenon where one is better at recognizing faces of their own race than faces of other races. This phenomenon is well researched, but there is little known about the mechanism behind it. This study investigates if and how two factors affect the Same Race Bias. These factors are attractiveness of the face to be remembered and the participant’s racial perceptions. Eastern Kentucky University students were recruited but only Caucasians were able to be used due to a low sample size of other race individuals. Participants took part in an online study that included an encoding phase of fifty faces and a recognition phase of one hundred fifty faces. Once the recognition phase was over participants filled out a racial perceptions survey that included questions about the Black Lives Matter movement. The results showed higher White face recognition accuracy when compared to Black faces. There was also a higher false alarm rate for Black faces when compared to White faces. These findings suggest that the Same Race Bias is observed in Eastern Kentucky University students. It was also found that as attractiveness increased, so did face accuracy regardless of race. This suggests that attractiveness influences the Same Race Bias. There was no relationship found between racial perceptions and other race face accuracy. Given the lack of Black participants, further research needs to be done to confirm the relationship between the Same Race Bias and attractiveness.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 11-30-2020


Adam Lawson

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Honors Scholars

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