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Facial Recognition and Same Race and Same Age Bias
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Facial Recognition and Same Race and Same Age Bias
Fall, 2017
Eyewitness testimony is far from being perfectly accurate. Previous research has found that people are better at recognizing the faces that are the same race as themselves (own-race bias; Gross, 2009). There is a similar effect for age; people are better at recognizing faces similar to their own age (own-age bias; Slessor et al., 2010). In this study, I examined differences in facial recall between traditional-aged college students (18-25, N = 12) who were better at facial recall no matter the age of the faces in the lineup, to those over the age of 26 (N = 18). All participants were Caucasian females. Participants viewed a slide show of target faces, half of them Caucasian and half of them African American who were also half traditional college age and half older, then were given a simulated line up. Their task was to indicate the target faces and the non-target faces along with the degree of confidence in their answer. Though not significantly different, older adults correctly identified more of the eight target faces and more of the non-target faces, no matter the age of the female in the picture, than traditional college age students. All the participants were Caucasian, however. They correctly identified more target African American faces, which is contrary to same race bias. These findings may help show that same age bias can be a factor in wrongly identifying a suspect in a lineup in addition to same race bias.
Limestone College
Dr. Kelly Jones
PS 319: Experimental Thesis
See: Access to this collection is made possible by support from the Council of Independent Colleges and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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