Right wing authoritarianism is associated with race bias in face detection


Racial discrimination can be observed in a wide range of psychological processes, including even the earliest phases of face detection. It remains unclear, however, whether racially-biased low-level face processing is influenced by ideologies, such as right wing authoritarianism or social dominance orientation. In the current study, we hypothesized that socio-political ideologies such as these can substantially predict perceptive racial bias during early perception. To test this hypothesis, 67 participants detected faces within arrays of neutral objects. The faces were either Caucasian (in-group) or North African (out-group) and either had a neutral or angry expression. Results showed that participants with higher self-reported right-wing authoritarianism were more likely to show slower response times for detecting out- vs. in-groups faces. We interpreted our results according to the Dual Process Motivational Model and suggest that socio-political ideologies may foster early racial bias via attentional disengagement.

Brice Beffara
Brice Beffara
Lecturer-researcher in psychology and methods

My research interests include social psychology, biological psychology, and methods.