Black, white, and biracial participants performed the visual search task by looking at Black and White faces on a computer screen. To prep the biracial individuals, the participants were asked to write about their mother or father's ethnicity. Black-primed and White-primed biracial individuals differed significantly in the searches, displaying the effects of the manipulation. "These findings demonstrate that visual perception is malleable to top-down influences, such as orientation provided by one's racial group membership," the authors conclude.
This study is published in the May issue of Psychological Science. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Authors Joan Y. Chiao, Hannah E. Heck, and Ken Nakayama are at Harvard University. Nalini Ambady is at Tufts University.