Better the devil you know? Non-conscious processing of identity and affect of famous faces

Article


Stone, A. and Valentine, Tim 2004. Better the devil you know? Non-conscious processing of identity and affect of famous faces. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. 11 (3), pp. 469-474.
AuthorsStone, A. and Valentine, Tim
Abstract

The nonconscious recognition of facial identity was investigated in two experiments featuring brief
(17-msec) masked stimulus presentation to prevent conscious recognition. Faces were presented in simultaneous
pairs of one famous face and one unfamiliar face, and participants attempted to select the
famous face. Subsequently, participants rated the famous persons as “good” or “evil” (Experiment 1)
or liked or disliked (Experiment 2). In Experiments 1 and 2, responses were less accurate to faces of
persons rated evil/disliked than to faces of persons rated good/liked, and faces of persons rated evil/disliked
were selected significantly below chance. Experiment 2 showed the effect in a within-items analysis:
A famous face was selected less often by participants who disliked the person than by participants
who liked the person, and the former were selected below chance accuracy. The within-items analysis
rules out possible confounding factors based on variations in physical characteristics of the stimulus
faces and confirms that the effects are due to participants’ attitudes toward the famous persons. The
results suggest that facial identity is recognized preconsciously, and that responses may be based on
affect rather than familiarity.

Keywordsfacial expressions; preconscious recognition; facial identity
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Journal citation11 (3), pp. 469-474
ISSN1069-9384
Year2004
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://pbr.psychonomic-journals.org/content/11/3/469.abstract
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/721
Publication dates
Print2004
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Apr 2010
Additional information

Citation:
Stone, A., & Valentine, T. (2004) ‘Better the devil you know? Non-conscious processing of identity and affect of famous faces.’ Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11 (3), 469-474.

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