Exploring Facial Recognition for 'Out Groups'

Psychology's Dr Amy Dawel explores facial recognition for 'out-groups' in a feature in the American Psychological Society's 'Particularly Exciting Experiments in Psychology'

The ability to recognize a colleague, neighbor, or friend is critical to everyday social interactions. Face recognition is also important in security settings, for instance, the ability to recognize an individual at the scene of a crime on CCTV footage, or to determine whether a person at passport control is using a fake or stolen passport.

However, face recognition has been shown to be poorer for faces belonging to a social out-group; for instance, faces of another race, age, or gender, either due to less experience with faces belonging to an out-group, or due to less motivation to process out-group faces as deeply as in-group faces.

Dawel et al. (online first, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied) investigated whether caricaturing — exaggerating appearance away from the average face — could provide a useful tool for improving recognition of other-race faces.

To read more go to https://www.apa.org/pubs/highlights/peeps/issue-117