Title

Asians really do look alike: Cross-racial identification research with Asians

Poster Number

19

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Many criminal convictions are based solely on eyewitness testimony. About 40% of convictions subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence relied on eyewitness testimony. Most people are better at identifying individuals of own ethnicity as opposed to other ethnicities (own-race bias). Extended contact with own-race persons permits individuals to recognize similar features and categorize the features as belonging to own-race, leading to better accuracy (Lipp et al., 2009; Bar-Haim, Saidel & Yovel, 2009). Two dozen studies have been conducted with African American, Caucasian and occasionally Hispanic observers, but no published studies have used Asians as observers. Violent Asian gangs, e.g., Vietnamese, Lao, Filipino, have become more prevalent in American cities, making this information essential to the justice system. Participants were asked to watch five short video clips; each clip featured a perpetrator (wearing a cap) from one of the five target ethnicities. Participants viewed the tapes of thefts by Caucasian, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Filipino, or Mixed Asian perpetrators in counterbalanced order. After each clip participants described the perpetrator and were shown a photographic line-up containing the perpetrator. Response time and confidence estimates were collected.Preliminary findings suggest an overall own-race bias with all participants more accurately identifying own-ethnicity perpetrators more accurately than other-race groups (p < .005). Individual comparisons suggest significance for Caucasian, Hispanic, and Filipino groups but not for Mixed Asian and Vietnamese groups. Preliminary confidence ratings (r = .16) were modestly correlated with accuracy. Participants took longer to make other-race selections but there were no time differences for accuracy.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Start Date

1-5-2010 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2010 12:00 PM

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Asians really do look alike: Cross-racial identification research with Asians

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Many criminal convictions are based solely on eyewitness testimony. About 40% of convictions subsequently exonerated by DNA evidence relied on eyewitness testimony. Most people are better at identifying individuals of own ethnicity as opposed to other ethnicities (own-race bias). Extended contact with own-race persons permits individuals to recognize similar features and categorize the features as belonging to own-race, leading to better accuracy (Lipp et al., 2009; Bar-Haim, Saidel & Yovel, 2009). Two dozen studies have been conducted with African American, Caucasian and occasionally Hispanic observers, but no published studies have used Asians as observers. Violent Asian gangs, e.g., Vietnamese, Lao, Filipino, have become more prevalent in American cities, making this information essential to the justice system. Participants were asked to watch five short video clips; each clip featured a perpetrator (wearing a cap) from one of the five target ethnicities. Participants viewed the tapes of thefts by Caucasian, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Filipino, or Mixed Asian perpetrators in counterbalanced order. After each clip participants described the perpetrator and were shown a photographic line-up containing the perpetrator. Response time and confidence estimates were collected.Preliminary findings suggest an overall own-race bias with all participants more accurately identifying own-ethnicity perpetrators more accurately than other-race groups (p < .005). Individual comparisons suggest significance for Caucasian, Hispanic, and Filipino groups but not for Mixed Asian and Vietnamese groups. Preliminary confidence ratings (r = .16) were modestly correlated with accuracy. Participants took longer to make other-race selections but there were no time differences for accuracy.