Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy Hackney

Committee Member 1

Bradley Sturz

Committee Member 2

Ty Boyer

Committee Member 3

Ty Boyer

Abstract

Members of one race or ethnicity are less able to individuate members of another race compared to their own race peers. This phenomenon is known as the other race effect (ORE) or the cross race effect (CRE). Not only are individuals less able to identify members of the other race but they are also more likely to pick those individuals out of a crowd. The categorizationindividuation model predicts that this deficit arises from a lack of motivated individuation; in which members of the other race are remembered at the category level as a prototype while own race members are remembered by name with individual characteristics. Discrimination training regimes derived from animal research for use in humans have demonstrated efficacy at improving discrimination of novel stimuli after several hours of training because participants are motivated to remember the face as an individual. The current study tested a shortened individuation training program using twelve own race/other race stimuli paired with names or letters. A go/no-go task was used to measure transfer of individuation ability. The present research demonstrates that a regimen as short as described is not sufficient to improve recognition. Future directions for research are discussed in consideration of tentative results including modifications of both the training task and transfer test.

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