Two phenomena, including the Other Race Effect and the Other Race Classification Advantage, describe the biases humans experience when looking at faces in a social context. The Other Race Effect concludes that humans more easily recognize faces of their own race, while the Other Race Classification Advantage concludes that humans classify faces of different races faster than they classify faces of their own race. The current study researched the potential elimination of the Other Race Effect when individuals are familiar with the faces they see. Twenty Caucasians and 11 African Americans, male and female, were recruited. Participants completed a social contact questionnaire, face classification task, and oval classification task before they rated familiarity with the faces in the initial classification task. It was found that African Americans exhibited higher accuracy than Caucasian participants, and it took a significantly longer time for the unfamiliar faces to be classified than it did for the familiar faces, during the face classification task. During the oval classification task, African American ovals were classified in a significantly shorter amount of time than the Caucasian ovals, and they were classified with significantly more accuracy than the Caucasian ovals. Caucasians exhibited more familiarity with Caucasian faces than African American faces, and Caucasians showed significantly less familiarity with the African American faces. In conclusion, the Other Race Effect and Other Race Classification Advantage were evident for Caucasians, but they were not for African Americans. In addition, the hypothesis that familiarity would eliminate the Other Race Effect was not confirmed.


Herzmann, Grit




Social and Behavioral Sciences


Other Race Effect, Other Race Classification Advantage, Familiarity, Caucasian, African American, race

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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