The own race bias in child and adolescent witnesses

Havard, Catriona; Humphries, Joyce and Memon, Amina (2016). The own race bias in child and adolescent witnesses. In: 57th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomics Society, 17-20 Nov 2016, Boston, US.



The present study investigated the own-race bias in British school children using an eyewitness paradigm. 319 participants viewed films of two similar staged thefts, one that depicted a Caucasian culprit and the other an South Asian culprit and then after a delay of 2-3 days, viewed a lineup for each culprit. 176 of the participants were Caucasian and 143 were South Asian. There were also two age groups, children aged 7-9 years and adolescents aged 12-14 years. There was a significant own race bias for the Caucasian participants from both age groups, that resulted in more correct identifications for the own race culprit from target present lineups and more false identifications for the target absent lineups. The South Asian participants from both age groups showed no own race bias and performed equally accurately for culprits of both races. The measures of interracial contact were associated with correct responses for other race targets and varied with actual contact with South Asians supporting perceptual expertise theory. The effects were shown for the first time using dynamic video lineups.

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