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We investigated the impact of ingroup/outgroup categorization on the encoding of same-race and other-race faces presented in inter-racial and intra-racial contexts (Experiments 1 and 2, respectively). White participants performed a same/different matching task on pairs of upright and inverted faces that were either same-race (White) or other-race (Black), and labeled as being from the same university or a different university. In Experiment 1, the same- and other-race faces were intermixed. For other-race faces, participants demonstrated greater configural processing following same- than other-university labeling. Same-race faces showed strong configural coding irrespective of the university labeling. In Experiment 2, faces were blocked by race. Participants demonstrated greater configural processing of same- than other-university faces, but now for both same- and other-race faces. These results demonstrate that other-race face processing is sensitive to non-racial ingroup/outgroup status regardless of racial context, but that the sensitivity of same-race face processing to the same cues depends on the racial context in which targets are encountered. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Publication Date





811 - 817