Monitoring and Control of Learning Own-Race and Other-Race Faces


Correspondence to: Matthew G. Rhodes, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1876, USA. E-mail:


The own-race bias refers to the finding that individuals are better able to recognize faces of the same race or ethnicity compared with faces of another race or ethnicity. The current study examined whether the own-race bias was also evident in participants' predictions of memory performance and their self-regulation of learning. In three experiments, participants studied own-race and other-race faces and predicted the likelihood of recognizing each face on a future test. Experiment 1 showed that participants provided similar predictions for own-race and other-race faces, despite superior recognition of own-race faces. Experiments 2 and 3 permitted participants to control their study of faces and revealed better self-regulation of learning for own-race relative to other-race faces. Collectively, these experiments suggest that the own-race bias may partially reflect a metacognitive deficiency, as participants are less able to effectively self-regulate learning for other-race faces. The implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.