The aim of the current experiment was to explore the possibility that people's perceptions of race could be altered using lightness contrast effects. To test this, faces ranging from typically Caucasian (white) to typically African (black) were surrounded with either black or white faces. Participants were asked to rate how stereotypically white or black they perceived the central face image to be. A 2x5 repeated measures ANOVA revealed that participants rated faces as looking the same whether presented in white or black surrounds. A second experiment consisting of two parts was conducted in an attempt to explain this lack of an effect. In experiment 2a, the effect of skin tone luminance variations without differences in facial morphology were investigated, while experiment 2b studied the effects of morphology without differences in skin tone. While skin tone alone yielded an effect of perceived lightness, the perceived race of faces was not affected by the morphologically different surrounds. This suggests that although perceptions of skin tone can be altered using lightness contrast effects, this is not sufficient to alter overall racial appearance, questioning the role of skin tone in the perception of race.
|Title of host publication||ASCS09|
|Subtitle of host publication||proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science|
|Editors||Wayne Christensen, Elizabeth Schier, John Sutton|
|Place of Publication||North Ryde, NSW|
|Publisher||Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009) - Sydney|
Duration: 30 Sep 2009 → 2 Oct 2009
|Conference||Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (9th : 2009)|
|Period||30/09/09 → 2/10/09|
Bibliographical noteCopyright 2009 by the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, ASCS09 : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.
- lightness contrast
- skin tone
Gwinn, O. S., & Brooks, K. R. (2010). A Face in the crowd: examining race perception and lightness contrast. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, & J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science (pp. 119-125). North Ryde, NSW: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science. https://doi.org/10.5096/ASCS200919