We examined the development of racial categorizations of faces spanning the European–East Asian (“White–Asian”) categorical continuum in children between the ages of four and nine as well as adults. We employed a stimulus set that independently varied skin color and other aspects of facial physiognomy, allowing the contribution of each to be assessed independently and in interaction with each other. Results demonstrated substantial development across this age range in children’s ability to draw on both sorts of cue, with over twice as much variance explained by stimulus variation in adults than children. Nonetheless, children were clearly sensitive to both skin color and other aspects of facial physiognomy, suggesting that understanding of the White-Asian category boundary develops in a somewhat different way than understanding of the White-Black category boundary, in which attention to features other than skin color appear only somewhat later. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for theories of social categorization.
Clark, A. R.,
Stepanova, E. V.
(2016). The Development of White Asian Categorization: Contributions From Skin Color and Other Physiognomic Cues. PLoS ONE, 11(6), 1-20.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/16272