Social identity and face perception

A wealth of research has examined how people perceive stigmatized group members (e.g., women, Blacks; (Macrae, Quinn, Mason, & Quadflieg, 2005); however, little research has examined the processes guiding person perception from the perspective of the stigmatized perceiver. I examine how a perceiver’s identity as a stigmatized group member might influence face perception. Our understanding of social perception would be enhanced examining the role of a perceiver’s stigma in person perception. I propose that stigmatized perceivers may be compelled to deploy more effort in order to form accurate impressions of non-stigmatized targets, partly because they control important resources through their relatively higher status (Fiske, 1993).

My ongoing work considers how being a stigmatized group member may further influence face perception and, ultimately, social judgment and behavior. In future work, I will examine whether these different processing styles may have negative consequences for a stigmatized group member. This program of research may highlight social cognitive factors among stigmatized group members that contribute to the persistent inequality they face.