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Logo of iperceptioni-Perception
Iperception. 2011 May; 2(4): 355.
Published online 2011 May 1. doi:  10.1068/ic355
PMCID: PMC5393729

Investigating the Other-Race Effect in Different Face Recognition Tasks


Faces convey various types of information like identity, ethnicity, sex or emotion. We investigated whether the well-known other-race effect (ORE) is observable when facial information other than identity varies between test faces. First, in a race comparison task, German and Korean participants compared the ethnicity of two faces sharing similar identity information but differing in ethnicity. Participants reported which face looked more Asian or Caucasian. Their behavioral results showed that Koreans and Germans were equally good at discriminating ethnicity information in Asian and Caucasian faces. The nationality of participants, however, affected their eye-movement strategy when the test faces were shown sequentially, thus, when memory was involved. In the second study, we focused on ORE in terms of recognition of facial expressions. Korean participants viewed Asian and Caucasian faces showing different facial expressions for 100ms to 800ms and reported the emotion of the faces. Surprisingly, under all three presentation times, Koreans were significantly better with Caucasian faces. These two studies suggest that ORE does not appear in all recognition tasks involving other-race faces. Here, when identity information is not involved in the task, we are not better at discriminating ethnicity and facial expressions in same race compared to other race faces.

Articles from i-Perception are provided here courtesy of SAGE Publications