The presents study looks at how perceived attractiveness of a person alters the other-race effect. The other race effect is the phenomenon of perceiving people as the same of another race. The other-race effect can change a person’s perception of different faces of different cultures and races. Studies on beauty and evolutionary behavior has suggested that beauty is a key attention grabber and be a good predictor for attention. The hypothesis if a high attractive other race-face was perceived, the brain would process the face as same-race. All participants were Caucasian males and females from the College of Wooster. The participants took a facial processing task, reacting to non-faces and different race and gender faces (Caucasian, Black and East Asian). The reaction time was recorded and analyzed. The results showed a trend for the other-race effect in high attractive faces, but there was no signs of an other-race effect on the low attractive faces. This indirectly supports the hypothesis, because instead of the other race effect not occurring in the high attractive faces, the data suggests the other race affect did not occur in the low attractive faces. Meaning the brain perceived the low attractive same-race faces the same as other-race faces. This supports the idea that the brain ignores both unattractive and other-race faces. This narrows the in-group and out-group the brain creates when perceiving different people and items. Social cognitive theories suggest cognitive disregard may be causing the brain to perceive same races faces as other-race faces


Herzmann, Grit




Cognitive Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

FINAL IS.docx (194 kB)



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