Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Evan Brown

Second Advisor

Kenneth A. Deffenbacher

Third Advisor

Norman H. Hamm


The present experiment replicated and refined.tests of. recognition memory for the human face. Three subject groups were used: White American females, White American males and Black African Malawian males. In part one, eighty monochromatic slides of Black and White American college seniors of both sexes were shown as (original) stimuli and then shown again with eighty new slides in a paired comparison task.

An analysis of variance performed on the recognition scores revealed the following results: (a) A main effect for groups of slides with American females generating significantly fewer errors than the African males; (b) A main effect for race of slide with White slides generating fewer errors than Black slides for the American subjects; (c) A group by sex interaction with females recognizing female slides better than Black or White males, and male slides better than the Malawians; and (d) A group by race interaction with Whites recognizing White slides better than Black slides, and White males generating significantly fewer errors in recognizing White faces than did Malawian males.

In part two, the same subjects rated 144 slides for attractiveness, on a scale of one to five. Spearman's rank, order correlations were made between all pairs of groups on the attractiveness judgments for each sex and race of slide. Significant agreement.of attractiveness judgments was found for

all sex/race categories by'American males and females, African males and American males judging Black male and female slides, and African males and American females judging Black male slides,

Further, Spearman’s correlations between attractiveness judgments and recognizability of slide yielded two significant resultsi a positive correlation between recognizability and attractiveness for White males looking at White male slides, and a negative correlation for White females looking at Black female slides.

An additional observation was that all White Americans overestimated the percentage of Blacks presently attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


A thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.

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