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Can anxiety and race interact to influence face-recognition accuracy? A systematic literature review

Eisenbarth, H., Tindall, I.K., Curtis, G.J. and Locke, V. (2021) Can anxiety and race interact to influence face-recognition accuracy? A systematic literature review. PLoS ONE, 16 (8). Art. e0254477.

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Wrongful convictions continue to occur through eyewitness misidentification. Recognising what factors, or interaction between factors, affect face-recognition is therefore imperative. Extensive research indicates that face-recognition accuracy is impacted by anxiety and by race. Limited research, however, has examined how these factors interact to potentially exacerbate face-recognition deficits. Brigham (2008) suggests that anxiety exacerbates other-race face-recognition deficits. Conversely, Attentional Control Theory predicts that anxiety exacerbates deficits for all faces. This systematic review examined existing studies investigating the possible interaction between anxiety and face-race to compare these theories. Recent studies included in this review found that both anxiety and race influence face-recognition accuracy but found no interaction. Potential moderators existing in reviewed studies, however, might have influenced their results. Separately, in some studies reviewed, anxiety induced during retrieval impacted recognition, contrasting with the conclusions of previous reviews. Recommendations for future research are given to address moderators potentially impacting results observed previously.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2021 Tindall et al.
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