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Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Jantzen, Kelly J.
Given the attentional and motivational saliency of infant faces, triggered by a set of perceptual baby schema features, other-race infants may overcome the processing limitations associated with the Other Race Effect (ORE). Using an attentional bias paradigm, I found that while there was a same-race attentional bias for adult faces, there was no difference in attention bias between same- and other-race infants suggesting that other-race infants have the ability to overcome the attentional limitations associated with processing other-race faces. To directly measure the ORE, I used a recognition memory test to measure encoding differences between same- and other-race infant and adult faces. Regardless of age, same-race faces were better remembered than other-race faces. Further, regardless of race, adult faces were better remembered than infant faces, a finding consistent with an Other Age Effect. Results from the recognition task were validated with differences in Event Related Potentials which found that infant faces may not have been configurally processed as indexed by changes in the N170 and P2 components. However, evidence of infants’ saliency was marked by an increased response of the Late Positive Component (LPC), which supports the findings from the attention experiment. Taken together, these experiments suggest that the saliency of baby schema does not fully overcome the processing limitations of the ORE.
Western Washington University
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Martinez, Sarah L., "Here’s Looking at You Kid: Preferential Attention to Same and Other Race Infant Faces Does Not Overcome the Other Race Effect" (2017). WWU Graduate School Collection. 588.