The face of crime: Viewer's memory of race-related facial features of individuals pictured in the news

Mary Beth Oliver, Ronald L. Jackson, Ndidi N. Moses, Celnisha L. Dangerfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined news readers' memories of race-related facial features of an individual pictured in the news. Participants were presented with a series of news stories, including one of four different versions of the news story of interest: nonstereotyped, stereotyped/noncrime, nonviolent crime, violent crime. Each of the four versions contained a photograph of an individual who was the focus of the story, with the same photograph appearing across news story conditions. Subsequently, participants reconstructed the photograph of the individual by selecting from a series of facial features (i.e., noses, mouths, skin tones) presented on a computer screen. Although selected features did not differ from the actual photograph in the nonstereotyped and stereotyped/noncrime conditions, selected facial features for the crime stories featured more Afrocentric than Eurocentric features, particularly for the story concerning violent crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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