USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Luke R. Wilson

First Advisor

Mark V. Pezzo, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology

Second Advisor

Vanessa Hilliard, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

April 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

December 2004


This study attempted to replicate and extend the findings of Castano et al. (2002) and Blascovich et al. (1997), both of whom examined how quickly people classify ambiguous facial photographs. Castano et al. found that people who identified strongly with their ingroup took less time to classify ambiguous targets. Blascovich etal. (1997), however, found the opposite- that racist individuals took longer to classify ambiguous photos. However, whereas Blascovich et al. used actual photographs of racially mixed (black vs. white) people, Castano et al. used a computer morphing program to create different ·degrees of racial ambiguity (northern vs. southern Italian). The present study, using a mixture of methods from both studies, morphed photographs of (unambiguously) black and white targets to vary from O% to 100% black in appearance. Participants were categorized as racist or non-racist according to three different measures.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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