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It is known that faces are rapidly and even unconsciously categorized into social groups black vs. white, male vs. female. Here, I test whether preferences for specific social groups guide attention, using a visual search paradigm. In Experiment 1 participants searched displays of neutral faces for an angry or frightened target face. Black target faces were detected more efficiently than white targets, indicating that black faces attracted more attention. Experiment 2 showed that attention differences between black and white faces were correlated with individual differences in automatic race preference. In Experiment 3, using happy target faces, the attentional preference for black over white faces was eliminated. Taken together, these results suggest that automatic preferences for social groups guide attention to individuals from negatively valenced groups, when people are searching for a negative emotion such as anger or fear.



Author: Marte Otten

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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