One triumph of the human mind is the ability to place the multitudinous array of people we encounter into in- and out-group members based on racial characteristics. One fundamental question that remains to be answered is whether invisible own- and other-race faces can nevertheless influence subsequent affective judgments. Here, we employed continuous flash suppression (CFS) to render own- and other-race faces unperceivable in an affective priming task. Both on-line and off-line awareness checks were employed to provide more stringent control of partial awareness. Results revealed that relative to own-race faces, imperceptible other-race faces significantly facilitated participants’ identification of negative words, suggesting an other-race derogation bias. When faces were presented consciously, we found that not only other-race faces facilitated detection of negative words, but also own-race faces facilitated detection of positive words. These findings together provide novel and strong evidence suggesting that invisible racial faces can bias affective responses.
- Affective priming
- Continuous flash suppression
- Interocular suppression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology