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How robust is the own-group face recognition bias? Evidence from first- and second-generation East Asian Canadians.


ABSTRACT: There is mounting evidence that North Americans are better able to remember faces of targets who belong to the same social group, and this is true even when the social groups are experimentally created. Yet, how Western cultural contexts afford the development of this own group face recognition bias remains unknown. This question is particularly important given that recent findings suggest that first-generation East Asian Canadians do not show this bias. In the current research, we examined the own-group bias among first- and second-generation East Asian Canadians, who vary systematically in their exposure to and engagement in a Western cultural context, and tested mediators that could explain any difference. In Study 1, second-generation East Asian Canadians showed better memory for same-group (vs. other-group) faces. In Studies 2 and 3, as well as a meta-analysis of all three studies, we found some additional evidence that second-generation East Asian Canadians show better memory for same-group (vs. other-group) faces, whereas first-generation East Asian Canadians do not, but only when each cultural group was examined separately in each study, as no interaction with generational status emerged. In Study 2, and in a higher powered pre-registered Study 3, we also examined whether second- (vs. first-) generational status had a positive indirect effect on same-group face recognition through the effects of acculturation and perceived relational mobility in the immediate social environment, however this mediation model was not supported by the data. Overall, the results provide some additional evidence that the effect of mere social categorization on face recognition may not be as consistently found among East Asian participants.

SUBMITTER: Ng AH 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7259662 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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