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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01973

Self-construal priming affect holistic face processing and race categorization, but not face recognition

  • 1Sun Yat-sen University, China

Self-construal priming can affect an individual’s cognitive processing. Participants who were primed with interdependent self-construal showed more holistic process bias than those who were primed with independent self-construal. The holistic processing of a face also differs across cultures. As such, the purpose of the present study was to explore whether the cultural differences in holistic face processing can be interpreted from the perspective of self-construal, as well as to investigate the relationship between self-construal and holistic face processing/face recognition/race categorization. In Experiment 1, participants were primed with control, interdependent, or independent self-construal, respectively, and then they completed a feature-space same–different task (Experiment 1A) or a composite face effect task (Experiment 1B). Results showed no priming effect in Experiment 1A, whereas independent self-construal priming resulted in less holistic processing in Experiment 1B. In Experiment 2, participants were primed with control, collective/interdependent, relational, or independent self-construal, respectively, and then they completed a Vanderbilt Holistic Face Processing Test and Cambridge Face Memory Test. Participants who were primed as independent showed greater congruency effect than the relational group. Self-construal priming had no effect on face recognition. In Experiment 3, we manipulated self-construal in the same way as that in Experiment 2 and monitored the eye movement of Chinese participants while they learned, recognized, and categorized their own-/other-race faces. Self-construal priming had no effect on face recognition. Compared with other groups, collective-/interdependent-self priming increased the fixation time of eyes and decreased the fixation time of nose in the race categorization task. These results indicated that the cultural differences in self-construal could not mirror the cultural differences in face processing in a simple way.

Keywords: Self-construal priming, composite face effect, holistic processing, race, face recognition

Received: 21 Mar 2019; Accepted: 12 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Liu, Liang, Feng and Zhou. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Cong Feng, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, Guangdong Province, China, fcong@mail.sysu.edu.cn
Dr. Guomei Zhou, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, Guangdong Province, China, zhougm@mail.sysu.edu.cn