The Outgroup Homogeneity Effect: What happens when Faces are Angry? Mark Schaller University of British Columbia
Thank you Josh Ackerman Jenessa Shapiro Vaughn Becker Vladas Griskevicius Jon Maner Steve Neuberg Doug Kenrick Research supported by U.S. National Institutes of Health
The outgroup homogeneity effect: Definition “The tendency to perceive members of an out-group as “all alike” or more similar to each other than members of the ingroup” (Baron, Byrne, Branscombe, 2006, 11 th edition).
Examples of the outgroup homogeneity effect People rate students from another university as more homogeneous than students at their own university (Rothgerber, 1997). This can reverse (creating “in-group homogeneity”) among some minority groups seeking a strong sense of solidarity within their ingroup (Simon & Pettigrew, 1992). Eyewitness identification (Anthony, Copper, & Mullen, 1992).
Functional perspective on allocation of attention Attention is a limited resource. It is allocated selectively to things that matter most (Schaller, Park, & Kenrick, 2007). E.g., snakes (Ohman et al., 2001). E.g., attractive women (Maner et al., 2003). E.g., ingroup members)
Angry faces The face in the crowd effect (Fox, Lester, Russo, Bowles, Pichler, & Dutton, 2000). Angry faces are like snakes.
Hypothesis When people are looking at neutral faces, we will replicate the outgroup homogeneity effect (Better recognition memory for ingroup faces than outgroup faces.) When people are looking at angry faces, the outgroup homogeneity effect will be eliminated and maybe even reversed (Better recognition memory for outgroup faces than ingroup faces).
Methods Experimental Design: 2 (Target Race: Black, White) x 2 (Target Expression: Neutral, Angry) x 2 (Distracter: Present, Absent) x 3 (Presentation Duration: 500ms, 1000ms, 4000ms) mixed design. (Target Race and Target Expression were within-participant manipulations and Presentation Duration and Distracter were between-participants manipulations.)
Methods (continued) One hundred ninety-two White undergraduate students (117 male, 75 female) participated in exchange for course credit. Presentation stimuli included sixteen 5x3.5- inch grayscale, front-oriented male faces (Black/White, angry/neutral). For participants in the Distracter-Present condition, sixteen similarly sized grayscale images of abstract art were randomly paired with the faces.
Methods (continued) Counterbalanced across participants, sixteen new faces (Black/White, angry/neutral) were employed as foils in the recognition memory test. Participants next watched a five-minute distracter film clip before recognition memory task (including previously-presented faces and foils). For each photograph, participants responded on a 6-point scale ranging from “definitely did not see” to “definitely did see.”
Methods (continued) Nonparametric signal detection measures of sensitivity (A') and response bias (B''d) (Stanislaw & Todorov, 1999; Donaldson 1992). Analyses: 2 (Target Race: Black, White) x 2 (Target Expression: Neutral, Angry) x 2 (Distracter: Present, Absent) x 3 (Presentation Duration: 500ms, 1000ms, 4000ms) ANOVA on A’ and B”d.
Results (A’ and B’’d) A’: 2-way Target Race X Target Expression interaction: F(1,191)=44.90, p<.001. B’’d: 2-way Target Race X Target Expression interaction: F(1,191)=70.43, p<.001.
HRFARA’B”d White Neutral.677.121.844-.406 Black Neutral.793.421.742.371 White Angry.773.223.833.022 Black Angry.802.178.873-.058
Effects of Processing Time and Distractors on A’ A planned contrast comparing the Target Race X Target Expressions interaction in the most highly constrained condition (500ms/distracter) to that in the least constrained condition (4000ms/no distracter), indicated a significant change in the strength of the memory crossover, F(1,186)=4.51, p<.05. These results support the possibility that the out-group heterogeneity effect for angry faces may emerge primarily when processing ability is limited.
Limitations Only Male target faces. Only Black/White target faces. Only White participants. Only angry faces. Only university students as participants. Only people from one culture as participants.