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Title: Cultural similarities and differences in facial identity and expression processing
Author: Yan, Xiaoqian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 3379
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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A range of research has shown an advantage for the perception of faces from same-race compared to other-races – the other race effect (ORE). Nevertheless, previous studies have focused on the ability to recognize facial identity. This thesis focuses on how information from the face that conveys expression is processed in own-race and other-race faces. First, the cross-cultural processing of facial expressions of basic emotions in Western Caucasian and Chinese observers was investigated. Perceptual judgments of facial expressions were quite similar between cultural groups, but facial expressions from own-race faces were categorized more accurately than expressions from other-race faces. This is explained by differences in the recognition of lower region of the face. Facial expressions were processed in a holistic way, but there was no difference in the engagement of holistic processing of own-race compared to other-race faces. Reliable own-group advantages were found in facial identity and expression processing with a free card-sorting task. However, there was also a large amount of cross-cultural consistency in response patterns. Two core face-selective regions, the FFA and the OFA, were sensitive to changes in facial identities and expressions, but there was no difference in the magnitude of response to own- and other-race faces. To summarize, this PhD thesis explored the cross-cultural processing of facial expression. Evidence showed significant differences in the perception of own-race and other-race faces, but these effects were generally small. The widely agreed opinion that the other-race effect is large is overstated.
Supervisor: Andrews, Timothy J. ; Young, Andrew W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available