Most likely you've been embarrassed about it before...but you don't necessarily have to be anymore.
New research shows that it is difficult for people to distinguish faces of different races (he. he....faces...races...that rhymed). Anyway, the research indicates that it's not because we are racists, it's the in-out syndrome.
It is believed that the findings suggest "recognition deficits" can occur "without the need for race or different physical characteristics, arguing instead that there is more than just unfamiliarity with other races at play in the cross-race effect."
In a series of experiments, Miami University undergraduates were led to believe that they would view the faces of fellow Miami students (the in-group) and students from Marshall University (a perennial football rival, making them the ultimate out-group) on a computer screen.
In reality, none of the faces, all of whom were white, were students at either university. By merely labeling them, however, the participants better recognized faces that they believed were fellow Miami students.
According to the researchers, "people frequently split the world up into us and them, in other words into social groups, be they racial, national, occupational, or even along the lines of university affiliation. Our work suggests that the cross-race effect is due, at least in part, to this ubiquitous tendency to see the world in terms of these in-groups and out-groups."