The temporal dynamics of the link between configural face processing and dehumanization

Steven G. Young, Ryan E. Tracy, John Paul Wilson, Robert J. Rydell, Kurt Hugenberg

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The human face conveys a wealth of information, including traits, states, and intentions. Just as fundamentally, the face also signals the humanity of a person. In the current research we report two experiments providing evidence that disruptions of configural face encoding affect the temporal dynamics of categorization during attempts to distinguish human from non-human faces. Specifically, the present experiments utilize mouse-tracking and find that face inversion elicits confusion amongst human and non-human categories early in the processing of human faces. This work affords the first examination of how facial inversion affects the dynamic processes underlying categorization of human and non-human faces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103883
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019



  • Configural face processing
  • Dehumanization
  • Mouse-tracking

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