No evidence of other-race effect for Chinese faces in Malaysian non-Chinese population

Alejandro J. Estudillo*, Jasmine Kar Wye Lee, Neil Mennie, Edwin Burns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The other-race effect (ORE) reflects poor recognition of faces of a different race to one's own. According to the expertise-individuation hypothesis, this phenomenon is a consequence of limited experience with other-race faces. Thus, similar experience with own and other-race faces should abolish the ORE. This study explores the ORE in a multi-racial country (i.e., Malaysia) by comparing Malaysian observers' face recognition for faces of a predominant racial group in Malaysia (i.e., Chinese) with faces from an uncommon group (i.e., Caucasian). Malaysian Chinese, Malays, and Malaysian Indians completed the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) and the CFMT-Chinese. Compared with the normative scores, Malaysian observers showed poor performance in the CFMT-Caucasian. Interestingly, Malays and Malaysian Indians observers' performance was identical to that of Malaysian Chinese in the CFMT-Chinese and to the normative scores of the test. These results demonstrate the relevance of experience in shaping the ORE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • expertise hypothesis
  • face recognition
  • individual differences
  • other race effect
  • prosopagnosia


Dive into the research topics of 'No evidence of other-race effect for Chinese faces in Malaysian non-Chinese population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this