Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1093–1099 | Cite as

Own- and other-race categorization of faces by race, gender, and age

  • Lun ZhaoEmail author
  • Shlomo Bentin
Brief Reports


We investigated how visual experience with faces of a particular race affects subordinate group-level categorizations in Chinese and Israeli participants living in the respective countries. Categorization of faces by race, gender, and age was examined within subjects with participants who had only minimal experience with the other-race faces. As would be predicted by the previously documented other-race advantage effect, both Chinese and Israeli participants classified the race of the face more quickly and more accurately for other-race than for own-race faces. In contrast, the observers’ race did not interact with the race of the rated face either for gender or for age categorization. The absence of these interactions suggests that the physiognomic characteristics that determine the gender and age of a face are universal, rather than race specific. Furthermore, these data suggest that determining the race of a face is not imposed as a first step in face processing, preempting the perception of other category-defining physiognomic characteristics.


Face Categorization Subordinate Categorization Physiognomic Characteristic Gender Task Israeli Participant 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xuzhou Normal UniversityXuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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