Toronto Metropolitan University
pone.0192418.pdf (1.69 MB)

An investigation of the effect of race-based social categorization on adults’ recognition of emotion

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-20, 15:46 authored by B. Nicole Reyes, Shira C. Segal, Margaret MoulsonMargaret Moulson

Emotion recognition is important for social interaction and communication, yet previous research has identified a cross-cultural emotion recognition deficit: Recognition is less accurate for emotions expressed by individuals from a cultural group different than one’s own. The current study examined whether social categorization based on race, in the absence of cultural differences, influences emotion recognition in a diverse context. South Asian and White Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area completed an emotion recognition task that required them to identify the seven basic emotional expressions when posed by members of the same two groups, allowing us to tease apart the contributions of culture and social group membership. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no mutual in-group advantage in emotion recognition: Participants were not more accurate at recognizing emotions posed by their respective racial in-groups. Both groups were more accurate at recognizing expressions when posed by South Asian faces, and White participants were more accurate overall compared to South Asian participants. These results suggest that in a diverse environment, categorization based on race alone does not lead to the creation of social out-groups in a way that negatively impacts emotion recognition.


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