Change blindness is influenced by factors such as: set size (the number of items in the scene), change size (the degree of change), and familiarity (whether or not the change occurs in a familiar stimulus). The objectives of this research were: (a) to investigate the role of familiarity in detecting changes in human faces and (b) to establish the temporal locus of the face familiarity effect within Tovey & Herdman’s (2014) stage model for change blindness. Chinese and Caucasian participants detected changes in images of same-race (familiar) and other-race (unfamiliar) faces in a flicker
paradigm. Familiarity, set size, and change size were jointly manipulated to determine the locus of the face familiarity effect using Sternberg’s additive factors logic. Caucasian (but not Chinese) participants were faster and more accurate in detecting changes in Caucasian faces than in Chinese faces, and a 3-way interaction in the Caucasian participants’ accuracy data was observed.