Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Racial blends - easy on the eyes until you categorise

For immediate release:  

Racial blends - easy on the eyes until you categorise

New light has been shed on how our minds judge multi-racial individuals, thanks to a collaborative research project between the University of Otago and the University of California, San Diego.

Professor Jamin Halberstadt, from Otago's Department of Psychology, and his colleague Professor Piotr Winkielman, from UC San Diego, say their studies used blended faces made up from two individuals, one Chinese and one Caucasian.

"Previous research has shown that blended faces, regardless of race, are more usually more attractive than the original faces that go into the blend,” Halberstadt explains.  

"This blending effect is especially evident for cross-race blends, so if you take two people of different races and blend them together then you get a face that is more attractive than the originals. Also, that blend is more attractive than a blend of two faces from the same race."

"Our idea was that these effects might be explainable by 'processing fluency' - how easy it is to perceive, process, and categorise something. Blended faces are ‘easier on the eyes,’ because they are very 'face-like', and this ease creates a positive feeling toward them."

The problem comes when people start viewing racial face blends as not just 'faces' but rather as examples of their racial groups.  In that case, the faces should seem relatively ambiguous, and that ambiguity should translate into negative attitudes.

Halberstadt and Winkielman say their most recently published research, in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, asked participants to first categorise a person's racial group and then judge their attractiveness. They compared the judgments to those of control participants who simply rated the facial blends on their attractiveness without classifying them.

They found that control participants preferred mixed-race faces to single-race faces, but participants who had to first decide if a face was Chinese or Caucasian, judged the mixed race faces to be relatively unattractive.

In a parallel experiment they used electromyography (EMG) to measure facial expressions and found that people were less inclined to smile at the faces presented to them if they had to categorise them first.

Professor Halberstadt says it appears that a blend is attractive as long as you do not have to think about where it came from.

"It comes back to fluency - how easy things are to process in your mind," he says. "When you think of multi-racial individuals as examples of humans they are more appealing because they better capture your overall experience of life. But when you think of them as examples of their racial groups then they become more ambiguous and that ambiguity pulls down their appeal."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Drones: First Certificate Issued Under New UAV Rules

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say the first certified flight of an unmanned helicopter under new aviation rules is a great example of how they can enable commercial use. More>>

ALSO:

GE Swedes And Cow Deaths: Plant Analysis Backs Up Earlier Advice

The industry body is recommending that farmers do not feed Herbicide Tolerant (HT) swedes to cows in spring when the animals are in late pregnancy or early lactation. DairyNZ is also advising caution if farmers are considering other leafy varieties. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Dairy And Travel Still Our Largest Export Earners

New Zealand earned $2.3 billion more from exports than we spent on imports during the year ended June 2015... total exports of goods and services were $67.5 billion, while total imports were $65.1 billion. More>>

ALSO:

Approval: Air New Zealand And Air China Launch New Alliance Route

Air New Zealand and Air China have today launched joint sales for a new daily direct service between Auckland and Beijing after receiving approval from New Zealand Minister of Transport Hon Simon Bridges to form a strategic alliance. More>>

ALSO:

Money Trading: FX Trader Jin Yuan Finance Warned Over Lack Of Monitoring

Jin Yuan Finance, an Auckland-based foreign exchange trader, has been warned over its lack of anti-money laundering processes in place in the first public notification by the Department of Internal Affairs. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Surge, Possible Peak: House Values Accelerate At Fastest Annual Pace In 8 Years

New Zealand residential property values rose at their fastest annual pace in eight years in August, pushed higher by overflowing demand in Auckland, which is showing signs speculators think it has reached its peak, according to Quotable Value. More>>

ALSO:

Cash Money: Reserve Bank Launches New $5 And $10 Banknotes

The $5 and $10 final banknotes were revealed at an event at the Bank in Wellington, and will start to be released from mid-October 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Truck Sales Booted: Commerce Commission Files Charges Against Mobile Trader

The Commerce Commission has filed charges against a mobile trader, or truck shop operator, claiming he obtained money from customers by deception and never intended to supply them with the goods they paid for. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news