Attending but not seeing: The "other race" effect in face and person perception studied through change blindness
Humphreys GW., Hodsoll J., Campbell C.
We used a change blindness paradigm to examine the "other race" effect in perception. White Caucasian and Indian Asian participants viewed scenes in which White Caucasian and Indian Asian students were present. Changes were made either to the faces of the students, to their bodies or to an independent object in the background. Changes in faces were detected faster than changes in the bodies, which were in turn detected faster than changes in the background. For face detection there was a crossover interaction, with changes in White Caucasian faces detected faster than changes in Indian Asian faces by White Caucasian participants, whilst the opposite result occurred for changes in Indian Asian faces. In contrast, there was no effect of race on the detection of body-part changes or on the detection of changes to background objects. The results suggest that participants of both races attended equally well to subjects from the other race in the scene, but despite this they remained less sensitive to "other race" faces. Change blindness can provide a useful way of analysing attentional and memorial processes in social contexts. © 2005 Psychology Press Ltd.