Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Effect of the Muslim headscarf on face perception : a series of psychological experiments looking at how the Muslim headscarf influences the perception of (South Asian) faces
Author: Toseeb, Mohammed Umar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 1173
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The Muslim headscarf conceals the hair and other external features of a face. For this reason it may have implications for the recognition of such faces. The experiments reported in this thesis aimed to investigate anecdotal reports, which suggested that headscarf wearing females are more difficult to recognise. This was done by employing a series of experiments which involved a yes/no recognition task. The stimuli that were used were images of South Asian females who were photographed wearing a Muslim headscarf (HS), with their own hair visible (H), and a third set of stimuli were produced in which their external features were cropped (CR). Most importantly, participants either took part in the condition in which the state of the external features remained the same between the learning and test stage (Same) or the condition in which they were switched between the two stages (Switch). In one experiment participants completed a Social Contact Questionnaire. Surprisingly, in the Same condition, there was no difference in the recognition rates of faces that were presented with hair, with headscarf, or cropped faces. However, participants in the Switch condition performed significantly worse than those in the Same condition. It was also found that there was no difference in the % of fixations to the external features between the Same and Switch condition, which implied that the drop in performance between the two conditions was not mediated by eye-movements. These results suggest that the internal and external features of a face are processed interactively and, although the external features were not fixated on, a manipulation to them caused a drop in performance. This was confirmed in a separate experiment in which participants were unable to ignore the external features when they were asked to judge the similarity of the internal features of pairs of faces. Pairs of headscarf faces were rated as being more similar compared to pairs of faces with hair. Finally, for one group of participants it was found that contact with headscarf-wearing females was positively correlated with the recognition of headscarf-wearing faces. It was concluded that the headscarf per se did not impair face recognition and that there is enough information in the internal features of a face for optimal recognition, however, performance was disrupted when the presence or absence of the headscarf was manipulated.
Supervisor: Keeble, David R. T. ; Bryant, Eleanor J. ; Horrocks, Christine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Face perception ; Muslim headscarf ; Own race bias ; Social contact ; Psychology ; Vision ; South Asian