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Exploring the contribution of motivation and experience in the postpubescent own-gender bias in face recognition
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 14:45 authored by Peter J. Hills, J. Michael Pake, Jack R. Dempsey, Michael B. Lewis
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.
Publication titleJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association