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Understanding gender bias in face recognition: effects of divided attention at encoding


Palmer, MA and Brewer, N and Horry, R, Understanding gender bias in face recognition: effects of divided attention at encoding, Acta Psychologica: International Journal of Psychonomics, 142, (2013) pp. 362-369. ISSN 0001-6918 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2013.01.009


Prior research has demonstrated a female own-gender bias in face recognition, with females better at recognizing female faces thanmale faces.Weexplored the basis for this effect by examining the effect of divided attention during encoding on females' and males' recognition of female and male faces. For female participants, divided attention impaired recognition performance for female faces to a greater extent than male faces in a face recognition paradigm (Study 1; N=113) and an eyewitness identification paradigm (Study 2; N=502). Analysis of remember–know judgments (Study 2) indicated that divided attention at encoding selectively reduced female participants' recollection of female faces at test. For male participants, divided attention selectively reduced recognition performance (and recollection) for male stimuli in Study 2, but had similar effects on recognition of male and female faces in Study 1. Overall, the results suggest that attention at encoding contributes to the female own-gender bias by facilitating the later recollection of female faces.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:divided attention; eyewitness identification; face recognition; own-gender bias; recollection
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Sensory processes, perception and performance
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Palmer, MA (Associate Professor Matt Palmer)
ID Code:83327
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-03-08
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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