Political Identity Priming and Own-Race Bias in Caucasian and Hispanic/Latino College Students
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Own-race bias (ORB) occurs when individuals exhibit enhanced recognition memory for faces of one’s own race as opposed to faces belonging to other races. Recent research indicates that promoting the salience of shared non-racial identity can foster in-group bias of face recognition for other-race faces. The purpose of this study is to assess whether ORB can be attenuated for faces belonging to members of one’s political in-group in Hispanic/Latino and White college students. In this study, participants completed a survey containing items assessing their political group identification. Following this, participants were shown a series of Hispanic/Latino and White faces labeled as liberal or conservative. Participants then completed a backward digit span task as a filler task before completing a recognition test containing faces from the earlier task as well as faces that had not been shown before. Contrary to the hypothesis regarding ORB being reduced by the priming of political identity, participants did not exhibit greater recognition memory for other-race faces labeled as endorsing the same political ideology compared to other-race faces labeled as endorsing a different political ideology. Furthermore, recognition accuracy was not significantly greater for faces of one’s own race, a result suggesting that ORB may not exist for Hispanic/Latino and White individuals living in a geographic region with large populations of each. More research is needed to further examine how various forms of non-racial identity may influence ORB.