Differential Experience Hypothesis

There is now considerable evidence that people are much better at discriminating among faces of their own race or ethnic group than among faces of other races or ethnic groups (Bartol & Bartol, 2004). Researchers call this phenomenon own-race bias (ORB), or it is sometimes referred to as “own-race effect” or “cross-race effect.” 

Although there are several possible explanations for ORB,the most popular is called the differential experience hypothesis. The hypothesis states that individuals will have greater familiarity or experience with members of their own race and will thus be better able to discern differences among its members.


Question Two: In considering Kelly’s constructive alternativism, does it seem odd to read about a theorist who holds little stock in the idea that there is an objective reality or absolute truth to discover? Can we conduct a science of persons if there is no objective reality or truth to discover? How might Kelly’s constructive alternativism foster an even more fruitful scientific investigation of persons than other theories?

Suggested Topic Heading: Kelly’s Constructive Alternativism

Question Three: B. F. Skinner questioned people’s capacity for free will and self-control. In what ways does social cognitive theory, and its associated programs of research,provide a counter-argument to Skinner’s position?. How does a focus on expectancies differentiate social-cognitive theory from behaviorism? How does this shift enable social-cognitive theorists to explain why two people react differently to the same environment?

Suggested Topic Heading: Skinner vs Social Cognitive Theory

Question Four: People seem to differ in their “moods.” Some people are commonly “upbeat” and “lively.” Others seem lower in energy. Some people seem commonly to be depressed. How does social cognitive theory explain these individual differences? Or does it? Might this be a limitation to the social-cognitive approach? What are your thoughts about problem-focused and emotion-focused coping?

Suggested Topic Heading: Social Cognitive Theory, Problem-Focused and Emotion-Focused Coping