Eyewitness Testimony & Lineup Identification  

Cross-Racial Identification

Faces of one's own race are better remembered when compared with faces of another, less familiar race.  This phenomenon is often referred to as the "cross-race effect" or "own-race bias," and has been demonstrated across a variety of memory tasks (e.g., recognition, identification, forced choice, etc.), in both adults and children and across a variety of ethnic groups (e.g., White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc.).  Our research has focused on explicating the cognitive or social psychological mechanisms that might underlie the phenomenon.  More specifically, we have been examining the role of perceptual learning and encoding-based processes that might substantiate superior memory for own-race faces. 

        Selected Publications on Cross-Racial Identification from our Research Team:

Marcon, J. L., Meissner, C. A., Freuh, M., Susa, K. J., & MacLin, O. H. (2010). Perceptual
identification and the cross-race effect. Visual Cognition, 18, 767-779.

Susa, K. J., Meissner, C. A., & de Heer, H. (2010). Modeling the role of social-cognitive
processes in the recognition of own- and other-race faces. Social Cognition, 28, 519-533.

Evans, J. R., Marcon, J. L., & Meissner, C. A. (2009). Cross-racial lineup identification:
The potential benefits of context reinstatement. Psychology, Crime, & Law, 15, 19-28.

Marcon, J. L., Susa, K. J., & Meissner, C. A. (2009). Assessing the influence of recollection
and familiarity in memory for own- and other-race faces. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 99-103.

Chiroro, P. M., Tredoux, C. G., Radaelli, S., & Meissner, C. A. (2008). Recognising faces
across continents: The effect of within-race variations on the own-race bias in face
recognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 1089-1092

Click here to access article reprints.


Investigative Interviewing Research Laboratory
Eyewitness Memory  *  Detecting Deception  *  Interrogations & Confessions

Experimental Stimuli