Verbal vulnerability of perceptual expertise.

TitleVerbal vulnerability of perceptual expertise.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsFallshore M, Schooler J.W
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Three experiments explored the role of perceptual expertise in mediating the finding (termed verbal overshadowing) that describing a face can impair later recognition. In Experiment 1, verbalization impaired White participants’ recognition of White faces (expert domain) but not African American faces (novice domain). In Experiment 2, judges attempted to identify targets on the basis of the verbal descriptions generated in Experiment 1. Experiment 2 revealed a significant relationship between verbalization participants’ recognition performance and yoked judges’ identification performance for other-race but not own-race faces, suggesting that other-race recognition may involve a unique reliance on "verbalizable" information. In Experiment 3, the interaction between verbalization and race of face was replicated with upright faces but was attenuated with inverted recognition arrays (a manipulation that reduces the influence of configural information). Collectively, these findings suggest that verbalization may disrupt the nonreportable configural processes associated with recognizing stimuli with which one is an expert.

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