Pictorial versus structural representations of ingroup and outgroup faces

Siegfried Sporer, Ruth Horry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Mental representations of unfamiliar faces may rely, to a greater or lesser extent, on pictorial cues that are closely linked to the specific image studied, and structural cues that allow for recognition across various transformations. Here, we test participants recognition of unfamiliar ingroup and outgroup faces, manipulating image transformation (pose) and exposure duration. The results showed that changes in pose reduced accuracy for outgroup faces but not for ingroup faces. Overall, accuracy increased as exposure duration increased. Accurate responses were made more rapidly than inaccurate responses for both ingroup and outgroup faces, showing that response latency is a useful postdictor of accuracy even for cross-ethnic identifications. The results are discussed in the framework of Bruce and Young's (1986) model of face recognition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)974-984
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Change of pose
    • Exposure time
    • Face recognition
    • Own-ethnicity effect
    • Own-race bias
    • Response latency


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