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Alternative Title

Intersectional effects of gender and race of target photos on African American men and women's recognition memory

Publication Date


First Advisor

Fletcher Blanchard

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Intersectionality, Intersectional invisibility, Facial recognition, Visual attention, Race, Gender, Intersectionality (Sociology), Invisibility, Face perception-Sex differences, African Americans-Psychology


A great quantity of psychological research that focuses on the role of intersecting social categories of race and gender found that intersectional invisibility relates to African American women. In particular, studies have proven that African American women are not being “seen” or “heard” when White European subjects are required to categorize, recognize, and memorize African American women (Sesko & Biernat, 2010; Goff, Thomas, & Jackson, 2008). I examined if intersectional invisibility relating to African American women would still exist when participants are African American. The study investigated if African American women are being “seen” by examining the memory of participants through a computer-controlled, facial recognition and visual attention task. I found that intersectional invisibility of African American women did not apply when participants were African American. Specifically, I found high accuracy ratings when recognizing same-race targets and male targets. Additionally, African American female subjects had a better recognition performance than African American male subjects. The implication of these findings for race, sex, and gender differences are discussed. Overall, the study suggests the importance of incorporating diversity within psychological research to develop a concrete understanding of intersectionality through empirical research.


2018 Jada Rene Flint.Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




47 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-47)