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The Outgroup Homogeneity

Effect: What happens when

Faces are Angry?

Mark Schaller
University of British Columbia
Thank you
 Josh Ackerman
 Jenessa Shapiro
 Vaughn Becker
 Vladas Griskevicius
 Jon Maner
 Steve Neuberg
 Doug Kenrick
 Research supported by U.S. National
Institutes of Health
The outgroup homogeneity
effect: Definition
 “The tendency to perceive members of
an out-group as “all alike” or more
similar to each other than members of
the ingroup” (Baron, Byrne,
Branscombe, 2006, 11th edition).
Examples of the outgroup
homogeneity effect
 People rate students from another university
as more homogeneous than students at their
own university (Rothgerber, 1997).
 This can reverse (creating “in-group
homogeneity”) among some minority groups
seeking a strong sense of solidarity within
their ingroup (Simon & Pettigrew, 1992).
 Eyewitness identification (Anthony, Copper, &
Mullen, 1992).
Functional perspective on
allocation of attention
 Attention is a limited resource. It is
allocated selectively to things that
matter most (Schaller, Park, & Kenrick,
 E.g., snakes (Ohman et al., 2001).
 E.g., attractive women (Maner et al.,
 E.g., ingroup members)
Angry faces
 The face in the crowd effect (Fox,
Lester, Russo, Bowles, Pichler, & Dutton,
 Angry faces are like snakes.
 When people are looking at neutral faces, we
will replicate the outgroup homogeneity effect
(Better recognition memory for ingroup faces
than outgroup faces.)
 When people are looking at angry faces, the
outgroup homogeneity effect will be
eliminated and maybe even reversed (Better
recognition memory for outgroup faces than
ingroup faces).
 Experimental Design: 2 (Target Race: Black,
White) x 2 (Target Expression: Neutral,
Angry) x 2 (Distracter: Present, Absent) x 3
(Presentation Duration: 500ms, 1000ms,
4000ms) mixed design. (Target Race and
Target Expression were within-participant
manipulations and Presentation Duration and
Distracter were between-participants
Methods (continued)
 One hundred ninety-two White
undergraduate students (117 male, 75
female) participated in exchange for course
 Presentation stimuli included sixteen 5x3.5-
inch grayscale, front-oriented male faces
(Black/White, angry/neutral).
 For participants in the Distracter-Present
condition, sixteen similarly sized grayscale
images of abstract art were randomly paired
with the faces.
Methods (continued)
 Counterbalanced across participants, sixteen
new faces (Black/White, angry/neutral) were
employed as foils in the recognition memory
 Participants next watched a five-minute
distracter film clip before recognition memory
task (including previously-presented faces
and foils). For each photograph, participants
responded on a 6-point scale ranging from
“definitely did not see” to “definitely did see.”
Methods (continued)
 Nonparametric signal detection measures of
sensitivity (A') and response bias (B''d)
(Stanislaw & Todorov, 1999; Donaldson
 Analyses: 2 (Target Race: Black, White) x 2
(Target Expression: Neutral, Angry) x 2
(Distracter: Present, Absent) x 3
(Presentation Duration: 500ms, 1000ms,
4000ms) ANOVA on A’ and B”d.
Results (A’ and B’’d)
 A’: 2-way Target Race X Target
Expression interaction: F(1,191)=44.90,
 B’’d: 2-way Target Race X Target
Expression interaction: F(1,191)=70.43,

White .677 .121 .844 -.406

Black .793 .421 .742 .371
White .773 .223 .833 .022
Black .802 .178 .873 -.058
Effects of Processing Time and
Distractors on A’
 A planned contrast comparing the Target
Race X Target Expressions interaction in the
most highly constrained condition
(500ms/distracter) to that in the least
constrained condition (4000ms/no distracter),
indicated a significant change in the strength
of the memory crossover, F(1,186)=4.51,
 These results support the possibility that the
out-group heterogeneity effect for angry
faces may emerge primarily when processing
ability is limited.
 Only Male target faces.
 Only Black/White target faces.
 Only White participants.
 Only angry faces.
 Only university students as participants.
 Only people from one culture as