Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Heather Kleider-Offutt

Second Advisor

David Washburn

Third Advisor

Ciara Smalls-Glover


This present study investigated whether face-type (stereotypical or nonstereotypical) facilitates stereotype-consistent categorization and decision-making. Previous literature regarding adults has suggested an associative link between stereotypically Black facial features and assumed criminality. This study seeks to extend these findings by investigating whether the same heuristic processes that underpin biased decisions regarding adult phenotypic racially stereotypical features (e.g., broad nose, full lips) extend to children’s faces. That is, do the negative stereotypes (i.e., criminal Black male) that influence face-type judgments in adults extend to child face-type judgements as well. In two studies testing face-type categorization and disciplinary judgments, people were more likely to miscategorize children with stereotypical faces into negative roles more than positive roles. People were also more likely to increase their disciplinary judgments from one infraction to another for children with stererotypical faces compared to atypical faces. Results suggest that face-type cues do extend to children and also engender negative associations.