Look who's talking! Facial appearance can bias source monitoring


When we see a stranger's face we quickly form impressions of his or her personality, and expectations of how the stranger might behave. Might these intuitive character judgements bias source monitoring? Participants read headlines "reported" by a trustworthy- and an untrustworthy-looking reporter. Subsequently, participants recalled which reporter provided each headline. Source memory for likely-sounding headlines was most accurate when a trustworthy-looking reporter had provided the headlines. Conversely, source memory for unlikely-sounding headlines was most accurate when an untrustworthy-looking reporter had provided the headlines. This bias appeared to be driven by the use of decision criteria during retrieval rather than differences in memory encoding. Nevertheless, the bias was apparently unrelated to variations in subjective confidence. These results show for the first time that intuitive, stereotyped judgements of others' appearance can bias memory attributions analogously to the biases that occur when people receive explicit information to distinguish sources. We suggest possible real-life consequences of these stereotype-driven source-monitoring biases.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211003742706
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Memory on 19 April 2010, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09658211003742706
Uncontrolled Keywords: attribution bias,facial appearance,source monitoring,stereotype,Psychology(all)
Publication ISSN: 1464-0686
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 07:11
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 15:15
Full Text Link: http://epubs.su ... rey.ac.uk/7041/
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://www.tand ... 658211003742706 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2010
Published Online Date: 2010-04-19
Authors: Nash, Robert A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2284-2001)
Bryer, Olwen M.
Schlaghecken, Friederike



Version: Accepted Version

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