Perceptual Processes in the Cross-Race Effect: Evidence From Eyetracking

Gerald P. McDonnell, Brian H. Bornstein, Cindy E. Laub, Mark Mills, Michael D. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The cross-race effect (CRE) is the tendency to have better recognition accuracy for same-race than for other-race faces due to differential encoding strategies. Research exploring the nature of encoding differences has yielded few definitive conclusions. The present experiments explored this issue using an eyetracker during a recognition task involving White participants viewing White and African American faces. Participants fixated faster and longer on the upper features of White faces and the lower features of African American faces. When instructing participants to attend to certain features in African American faces, this pattern was exaggerated. Gaze patterns were related to improved recognition accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-493
Number of pages16
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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