J. Nicole Shelton

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, United States

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Publications (35)116.39 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two studies examined the cognitive costs of blatant and subtle racial bias during interracial interactions. In Study 1, Black participants engaged in a 10-minute, face-to-face interaction with a White confederate who expressed attitudes and behaviors consistent with blatant, subtle, or no racial bias. Consistent with contemporary theories of modern racism, interacting with a subtly biased, compared with a blatantly biased, White partner impaired the cognitive functioning of Blacks. Study 2 revealed that Latino participants suffered similar cognitive impairments when exposed to a White partner who displayed subtle, compared with blatant, racial bias. The theoretical and practical implications for understanding the dynamics of interracial interactions in the context of contemporary bias are discussed.
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 09/2013; 16(5):560-571. · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • Deborah A Prentice, J Nicole Shelton
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    ABSTRACT: A view of inequality as a relationship between the advantaged and the disadvantaged has gained considerable currency in psychological research. However, the implications of this view for theories and interventions designed to reduce inequality remain largely unexplored. Drawing on the literature on close relationships, we identify several key features that a relational theory of social change should include.
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11/2012; · 18.57 Impact Factor
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    Deborah Son Holoien, J. Nicole Shelton
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined how priming Whites with colorblind or multicultural approaches to diversity prior to an interracial interaction affects ethnic minorities' cognitive functioning. Although ethnic minorities did not explicitly know which prime their White partner received, ethnic minorities paired with Whites primed with colorblindness (vs. multiculturalism) showed poorer cognitive performance on the Stroop (1935) color-naming task following the interaction. Furthermore, Whites in interracial interactions primed with colorblindness exhibited more behavioral prejudice, which mediated ethnic minorities' decreased cognitive performance. These findings suggest that Whites' exposure to certain ideologies may affect the cognitive performance of the ethnic minorities they encounter.
    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology - J EXP SOC PSYCHOL. 03/2012;
  • Deborah Son, J. Nicole Shelton
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    ABSTRACT: The present research examined the intrapersonal consequences that Asian Americans experience as a result of their concerns about appearing highly intelligent, a positive stereotype associated with their racial group. A daily diary study of Asian-American college students (N = 47) revealed that higher levels of stigma consciousness were associated with greater anxiety, contact avoidance, perceived need to change to fit in with a roommate, and concerns about being viewed as intelligent for Asian Americans living with a European-American (vs. racial minority) roommate. Further, among Asian Americans with a European-American roommate, concerns about appearing intelligent partially mediated the relationships between stigma consciousness and the outcomes of anxiety and perceived need to change to fit in. In sum, these findings demonstrate that positive stereotypes about the group—not just negative stereotypes—may lead to undesirable intrapersonal outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Asian American Journal of Psychology. 02/2011; 2(1):51-60.
  • J. Nicole Shelton, Jan Marie Alegre, Deborah Son
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    ABSTRACT: Research on social stigma and disadvantage has flourished in the past two decades. The authors highlight the theoretical and methodological advancements that have been made, such as how experience sampling procedures and neuroscience have shed light on processes associated with social stigma. Finally, the authors discuss policy implications of historical and contemporary research on social stigma and disadvantage, as well as address ideas for future research that may be useful in creating policies and programs that promote social equality.
    Journal of Social Issues 08/2010; 66(3):618 - 633. · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pervasive representations of Blacks and Latinos as unintelligent and of Whites as racist may give rise to divergent impression management goals in interracial interactions. We present studies showing that in interracial interactions racial minorities seek to be respected and seen as competent more than Whites do, whereas Whites seek to be liked and seen as moral more than racial minorities do. These divergent impression management goals are reflected in Whites' and racial minorities' self-report responses (Studies 1a, 1b, 2, and 4) and behaviors (Studies 3a and 3b). Divergent goals are observed in pre-existing relationships (Study 2), as well as in live interactions (Studies 3a, 3b, and 4), and are associated with higher levels of negative other-directed affect (Study 4). Implications of these goals for interracial communication and misunderstandings are discussed.
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 08/2010; 99(2):248-64. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the processes involved in the development of interracial friendships. Using Reis and Shaver’s intimacy model, we explore the extent to which disclosure and perceived partner responsiveness influence intimacy levels in developing interracial and intraracial friendships. White and ethnic minority participants completed diary measures of self and partner disclosure and partner responsiveness every two weeks for 10 weeks about an in-group and an out-group person whom they thought they would befriend over time. The results revealed that perceived partner responsiveness mediated the relationships between both self and partner disclosure and intimacy in interracial and intraracial relationships. The implications of these results for intergroup relations are discussed.
    Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 01/2010; 27(1):71-90. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined whether members of low-status, stigmatized groups are less susceptible to the negative cognitive consequences of suppressing their emotional reactions to prejudice, compared with members of high-status, non-stigmatized groups. Specifically, we examined whether regulating one s emotional reactions to sexist comments—an exercise of self-regulation—leaves women less cognitively depleted than their male counterparts. We hypothesized that the greater practice and experience of suppressing emotional reactions to sexism that women are likely to have relative to men should leave them less cognitively impaired by such emotion suppression. Results were consistent with this hypothesis. Moreover, these results suggest that our social group memberships may play an important role in determining which social demands we find depleting.
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 01/2010; 13(2):215-226. · 1.24 Impact Factor
  • J. Nicole Shelton, Tessa V. West, Thomas E. Trail
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the relationship between Whites’ and ethnic minorities’ concerns about appearing prejudiced and anxiety during daily interracial interactions. College roommate pairs completed an individual difference measure of concerns about appearing prejudiced at the beginning of the semester. Then they completed measures of anxiety and perceptions of their roommates’ anxiety-related behaviors for 15 days. Results indicated that among interracial roommate pairs, Whites’ and ethnic minorities’ concerns about appearing prejudiced were related to their self-reported anxiety on a daily basis; but this was not the case among same-race roommate pairs. In addition, among interracial roommate pairs, roommates who were concerned about appearing prejudiced began to “leak” their anxiety towards the end of the diary period, as indicated by their out-group roommate who perceived their anxious behaviors as increasing across time, and who consequently liked them less. The implications of these findings for intergroup relations are discussed in this article.
    Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 01/2010; 13(3):329-344. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The social psychological literature maintains unequivocally that interracial contact is stressful. Yet research and theory have rarely considered how stress may shape behavior during interracial interactions. To address this empirical and theoretical gap, the authors propose a framework for understanding and predicting behavior during interracial interactions rooted in the stress and coping literature. Specifically, they propose that individuals often appraise interracial interactions as a threat, experience stress, and therefore cope-they antagonize, avoid, freeze, or engage. In other words, the behavioral dynamics of interracial interactions can be understood as initial stress reactions and subsequent coping responses. After articulating the framework and its predictions for behavior during interracial interactions, the authors examine its ability to organize the extant literature on behavioral dynamics during interracial compared with same-race contact. They conclude with a discussion of the implications of the stress and coping framework for improving research and fostering more positive interracial contact.
    Personality and Social Psychology Review 09/2009; 13(4):243-68. · 6.07 Impact Factor
  • Thomas E Trail, J Nicole Shelton, Tessa V West
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    ABSTRACT: Jobs, social group memberships, or living arrangements lead many people to interact every day with another person from a different racial background. Given that research has shown that interracial interactions are often stressful, it is important to know how these daily interactions unfold across time and what factors contribute to the success or failure of these interactions. Both members of same-race and mixed-race college roommate pairs completed daily questionnaires measuring their emotional experiences and their perceptions of their roommate. Results revealed that roommates in mixed-race dyads experienced less positive emotions and intimacy toward their roommates than did roommates in same-race dyads and that the experience of positive emotions declined over time for ethnic minority students with White roommates. Mediation analyses showed that the negative effects of roommate race were mediated by the level of intimacy-building behaviors performed by the roommate. Implications for future research and university policies are discussed.
    Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 04/2009; 35(6):671-84. · 2.22 Impact Factor
  • Tessa V West, J Nicole Shelton, Thomas E Trail
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the research on intergroup anxiety has examined the impact of people's own anxiety on their own outcomes. In contrast, we show that in intergroup interactions, one's partner's anxiety is just as important as one's own anxiety (if not more important). Using a diary study among college roommates, we show that partners' anxiety predicts respondents' anxiety across time on a daily basis, as well as respondents' interest in living together again the next year. We discuss the importance of taking a relational approach to understanding intergroup interactions.
    Psychological Science 03/2009; 20(3):289-92. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrated that a self—other attributional bias impedes interracial friendship development. Whites were given the opportunity to become friends with a White or Black participant. Whites indicated how interested they were in becoming friends and how concerned they were about being rejected as a friend. They also indicated how interested they thought the other person was in becoming friends and how concerned they thought the other person was about being rejected as friend. Results revealed that lower-prejudice Whites made divergent explanations for the self and other when the potential friend was Black, whereas higher-prejudice Whites did not. Prejudice level did not influence the type of explanations made when the potential friend was White. Implications for interracial friendship development are considered.
    Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 01/2009; 26:179-193. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A common ingroup identity promotes positive attitudes and behavior toward members of outgroups, but the durability of these effects and generalizability to relationships outside of the laboratory have been questioned. The present research examined how initial perceptions of common ingroup identity among randomly assigned college roommates provide a foundation for the development of intergroup friendships. For roommate dyads involving students who differed in race or ethnicity, respondents who were low on perceived intergroup commonality showed a significant decline in friendship over-time, whereas those high on perceived commonality showed consistently high levels of friendship. Similarly, participants in these dyads demonstrated a significant decline in feelings of friendship when their roommate was low in perceived commonality but not when their roommate was high in perceived commonality. These effects were partially mediated by anxiety experienced in interactions over-time. The implications of a common identity for intergroup relationship development are discussed.
    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 01/2009;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores the role of racial bias toward Blacks in interracial relations, and in racial disparities in health care in the United States. Our analyses of these issues focuses primarily on studies of prejudice published in the past 10 years and on health disparity research published since the report of the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) Panel on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care in 2003. Recent social psychological research reveals that racial biases occur implicitly, without intention or awareness, as well as explicitly, and these implicit biases have implications for understanding how interracial interactions frequently produce mistrust. We further illustrate how this perspective can illuminate and integrate findings from research on disparities and biases in health care, addressing the orientations of both providers and patients. We conclude by considering future directions for research and intervention.
    Social Science [?] Medicine 09/2008; 67(3):478-86. · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    Jessica Salvatore, J Nicole Shelton
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined how encountering racial prejudice affects cognitive functioning. We assessed performance on the Stroop task after subjects reviewed job files that suggested an evaluator had made nonprejudiced, ambiguously prejudiced, or blatantly prejudiced hiring recommendations. The cognitive impact of exposure to ambiguous versus blatant cues to prejudice depended on subjects' racial group. Black subjects experienced the greatest impairment when they saw ambiguous evidence of prejudice, whereas White subjects experienced the greatest impairment when they saw blatant evidence of prejudice. Given the often ambiguous nature of contemporary expressions of prejudice, these results have important implications for the performance of ethnic minorities across many domains.
    Psychological Science 10/2007; 18(9):810-5. · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • Jennifer A. Richeson, J. Nicole Shelton
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    ABSTRACT: The United States is becoming increasingly diverse, yet interracial contact continues to be awkward, if not stressful, for many. Indeed, recent research suggests that individuals often exit interracial interactions feeling drained both cognitively and emotionally. This article reviews research examining how interracial encounters give rise to these outcomes, zeroing in on the mediating role of self-regulation and the moderating influence of prejudice concerns. Given that interracial contact may be the most promising avenue to prejudice reduction, it is important to examine factors that undermine positive interracial contact experiences, as well as those that facilitate them.
    Current Directions in Psychological Science 01/2007; 16(6):316-320. · 3.93 Impact Factor
  • J Nicole Shelton, Jennifer A Richeson
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    ABSTRACT: In this article, the authors examine the relationship between ethnic minorities' racial attitudes and their intergroup contact experiences with White people. In Studies 1 and 2, the authors demonstrate that the more negative the racial attitudes held by ethnic minorities, the less positive their interactions are with White friends and roommates. With a daily report methodology, Study 2 revealed that ethnic minorities' racial attitudes predicted the decline in the quality of their intergroup contact experiences over a 3-week period. In Study 3, the authors examined a possible mechanism underlying the relationship between racial attitudes and intergroup contact, as well as the influence of ethnic minorities' racial attitudes on White participants' experiences in intergroup contact settings. The authors discuss the findings in terms of the importance of examining ethnic minorities' attitudes in research on intergroup relations.
    Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 02/2006; 12(1):149-64. · 1.36 Impact Factor
  • J. Nicole Shelton, Jennifer A. Richeson
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    ABSTRACT: The term social interaction conjures up images that involve at least two people. These two people are likely to have beliefs about one another, beliefs about how the other person views them, and beliefs about the interaction. Moreover, these beliefs are likely to influence both individuals' experiences during the interaction. Although interconnectedness of this type has been pursued in examinations of interpersonal interactions (e.g., Baldwin, 1992; Darley & Fazio, 1980), research on interracial interactions has tended to adopt a more individualistic approach. Similar to interpersonal interactions, individuals' experiences in interracial interactions are often shaped by the beliefs individuals have about one another and their beliefs about how they will be perceived by their interaction partners. In this chapter we examine interracial interactions from a perspective that highlights the interconnectedness that is often at the core of interpersonal interactions between members of different racial groups. This perspective highlights that there are two people involved in dyadic interracial interactions and these two people influence each other's outcomes and experiences.
    Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 01/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter adopts a social identity threat perspective to examine dynamics of interethnic interactions. We first review relevant literature regarding the conditions under which both White and ethnic minority individuals are likely to experience social identity threat within the specific context of interethnic interactions. We focus on the threat of being perceived as stereotypical of one's ethnic group, considering situation- and person-level factors that trigger the experience of such threat during interethnic interactions. Next, we offer a framework for understanding how individuals cope with social identity threat during interethnic interactions, proposing three main classes of responses: avoidance, outgroup devaluation/derogation, and behaviour modulation/regulation. We review factors that are likely to influence the adoption of one of these responses, and then consider potential implications that each type of response may have for individuals' experiences during interactions, the development of interethnic friendships, and the attenuation of prejudice.
    European Review of Social Psychology - EUR REV SOC PSYCHOL. 01/2006; 17(1):321-358.

Publication Stats

2k Citations
116.39 Total Impact Points


  • 2003–2012
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Psychology
      Princeton, NJ, United States
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Psychology
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 2009
    • University of Connecticut
      Storrs, Connecticut, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Psychology
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 2008–2009
    • Yale University
      • Department of Psychology
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2003–2004
    • Dartmouth College
      • Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
      Hanover, NH, United States
  • 1998
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Psychology
      Charlottesville, VA, United States