Levels of Processing and Memory Awareness when Recognising Own-race versus Other-race Faces: Implications for Eye-witness Memory

By Ira Konstantinou.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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The study employed the remember-know paradigm to investigate levels-of-processing effects in recognition memory for same-versus other-race faces. It was predicted that deeper processing would benefit accuracy in recognition and remembering for both own-and other-race faces. Moreover, the Cross-Race Bias (CRB) would be evident with participants more accurately recognizing faces of their own race than faces of another race. No interaction between the 2 variables was expected. Deeper processing benefited accurate remembering only. The CRB was evident with same-race faces being accurately recognised more than other-race faces, and more remember and know false positives being given to other-race faces. No interaction effect was found. The results do not support the depth of processing hypothesis for the CRB and have implications for the assumption that richer encoding could lead to a decrease in CRB by minimising false positives. Thus, in eyewitness memory richer encoding opportunities do not necessarily lead to less false cross-race identifications and care should be taken when dealing with those kinds of identifications.

Keywords: Remember-know Paradigm, Cross-race Bias, Levels-of-processing Effects

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 229.458KB).

Dr. Ira Konstantinou

Associate Professor in Psychology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Richmond, the American International University in London, London, UK

I have completed my BA in Psychology at the American College of Greece in Athens. I completed my Ph.D. work on memory awareness at Sussex University in 2005 and have been working as an Assistant Professor since 2003 at Richmond, the American International University in London. My research interests are in the area of memory awareness, and I have recently started work on bringing two lines of research together, that of memory awareness and that of factors contributing to own-race bias. In terms of teaching, I have designed and run successfully several new courses at Richmond University. The courses that I teach that students find most fascinating are Biological Basis of Psychology, Cognitive Science, Experimental Psychology, Conceptual/Historical Issues in Psychology, and of course Special Topics in Memory. I enjoy the challenges of working in an international University and the fact that the students I teach come from a diverse international background, which has contributed to my interest in own-race bias and investigating ways to overcome it.