Electro-cortical implicit race bias does not vary with participants' race or sex.

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Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, ISSN: 1749-5024, Vol: 6, Issue: 5, Page: 591-601

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Lipp, Ottmar V.; Mallan, Kimberley M.; Martin, Frances H.; Terry, Deborah J.; Smith, Joanne R.
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Psychology; Neuroscience
article description
Earlier research found evidence for electro-cortical race bias towards black target faces in white American participants irrespective of the task relevance of race. The present study investigated whether an implicit race bias generalizes across cultural contexts and racial in- and out-groups. An Australian sample of 56 Chinese and Caucasian males and females completed four oddball tasks that required sex judgements for pictures of male and female Chinese and Caucasian posers. The nature of the background (across task) and of the deviant stimuli (within task) was fully counterbalanced. Event-related potentials (ERPs) to deviant stimuli recorded from three midline sites were quantified in terms of mean amplitude for four components: N1, P2, N2 and a late positive complex (LPC; 350-700 ms). Deviants that differed from the backgrounds in sex or race elicited enhanced LPC activity. These differences were not modulated by participant race or sex. The current results replicate earlier reports of effects of poser race relative to background race on the LPC component of the ERP waveform. In addition, they indicate that an implicit race bias occurs regardless of participant's or poser's race and is not confined to a particular cultural context.