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Cross-Group Recognition Bias and Diverse Digital Representations of Identity

Social Processes Lab and Knowledge Exchange Lab


January 2010 - December 2012


budget resources of KMRC


This project investigated the potential for and consequences of cross-group recognition bias (better memory for people who share ethnic or social group memberships with a perceiver than for people who do not share ethnic or social group memberships with a perceiver) when personal identity can be represented in the diverse forms afforded by electronic communication. Previously, cross-group recognition bias has been treated exclusively as a face recognition bias.
In this research, we found that recognition bias extends to non-face representations of digital identity, including diverse pictorial representations of identity and written verbal representations of identity (Ray & Matschke, 2012). Hence, recognition bias can occur even in virtual environments where individuals are often represented by icons etc. rather than pictures of their faces.


  • Ray, D., & Matschke, C. (2012). Cross-group recognition bias generalizes to diverse non-face representations of digital identity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 387-390.