Inconsistent individual personality description eliminates the other-race effect

Lanya ZHANG, Guomei ZHOU*, Xiaoping PU, William G. HAYWARD

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the effect of individual semantic information displayed simultaneously with faces on the other-race effect. Arbitrary descriptions of the individual personalities of a set of faces were initially evaluated for consistency. Later, 83 naïve participants were allocated to three groups in which they saw faces and consistent, inconsistent, or neutral personality information about each face. Later, they completed a recognition task for the faces. The other-race effect was observed only in the control group and the consistent-information group, but not in the inconsistent-information group. This showed that inconsistent individual semantic information for each face can help to individuate these faces and eliminated the other-race effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-876
Number of pages7
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30700230) to Guomei Zhou, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (09pywk22) to Guomei Zhou.


  • Consistent/inconsistent description
  • Individuation
  • Own-race effect
  • Semantic information


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