Ironic Effects of Racial Bias During Interracial Interactions

Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.43). 06/2005; 16(5):397-402. DOI: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.01547.x
Source: PubMed


Previous research has suggested that Blacks like White interaction partners who make an effort to appear unbiased more than those who do not. We tested the hypothesis that, ironically, Blacks perceive White interaction partners who are more racially biased more positively than less biased White partners, primarily because the former group must make more of an effort to control racial bias than the latter. White participants in this study completed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as a measure of racial bias and then discussed race relations with either a White or a Black partner. Whites' IAT scores predicted how positively they were perceived by Black (but not White) interaction partners, and this relationship was mediated by Blacks' perceptions of how engaged the White participants were during the interaction. We discuss implications of the finding that Blacks may, ironically, prefer to interact with highly racially biased Whites, at least in short interactions.

Download full-text


Available from: Jessica Salvatore, Jan 23, 2014
  • Source
    • "The influence of social context on concepts of ownership has historically enjoyed a large amount of philosophical and psychological attention (e.g. Hohfeld, 1913; James, 1890; Locke, 1690; Sartre, 1943), yet only recently has it become a focal point of experimental research. Much of this research has focussed on comparing how people value objects they own compared with objects others own. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Property evaluations rarely occur in the absence of social context. However, no research has investigated how intergroup processes related to prejudice extend to concepts of property. In the present research, we propose that factors such as group status, prejudice, and pressure to mask prejudiced attitudes affect how people value the property of racial ingroup and outgroup members. In Study 1, White American and Asian American participants were asked to appraise a hand-painted mug that was ostensibly created by either a White or an Asian person. Asian participants demonstrated an ingroup bias. White participants showed an outgroup bias, but this effect was qualified. Specifically, among White participants, higher racism towards Asian Americans predicted higher valuations of mugs created by Asian people. Study 2 revealed that White Americans’ prejudice towards Asian Americans predicted higher valuations of the mug created by an Asian person only when participants were highly concerned about conveying a non-prejudiced personal image. Our results suggest that, ironically, prejudiced majority group members evaluate the property of minority group members whom they dislike more favourably. The current findings provide a foundation for melding intergroup relations research with research on property and ownership.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · European Journal of Social Psychology
  • Source
    • "Decades of research in social psychology have explored the tension and negative affect that interracial interactions can engender, with heightened concerns about doing something 'wrong' or behaving inappropriately in such interactions (e.g. Stephan and Stephan, 1985; Vorauer et al., 1998; Richeson and Shelton, 2003; Shelton, 2003; Vorauer and Turpie 2004; Shelton et al., 2005). Most relevant to the present investigation, people seek to appear race-neutral when making decisions between members of different races. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We explore the existence and underlying neural mechanism of a new norm endorsed by both black and white Americans for managing interracial interactions: "racial paralysis', the tendency to opt out of decisions involving members of different races. We show that people are more willing to make choices-such as who is more intelligent, or who is more polite-between two white individuals (same-race decisions) than between a white and a black individual (cross-race decisions), a tendency which was evident more when judgments involved traits related to black stereotypes. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the mechanisms underlying racial paralysis, to examine the mechanisms underlying racial paralysis, revealing greater recruitment of brain regions implicated in socially appropriate behavior (ventromedial prefrontal cortex), conflict detection (anterior cingulate cortex), deliberative processing (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and inhibition (ventrolateral prefrontal cortex). We also discuss the impact of racial paralysis on the quality of interracial relations.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "Will African-Americans detect subtle indicators of hostility among high IAT scorers–and react more negatively (as some have argued; McConnell & Leibold, 2001)? Or will African-Americans interpret the more relaxed stance of low scorers as disengagement and react more positively (as others have argued; Shelton et al., 2005)? Or perhaps there is no connection: what Blacks see as unfriendly avoidance of eye contact is really Whites trying to follow race-blind norms (Norton et al., 2006), with Whites who fear they have failed a test of implicit bias trying the hardest. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The positions that experts take on whether organizations do enough to ensure equal-opportunity hinge on the assumptions they make about the potency of prejudice. Prominent scholars have challenged the conventional notion that anti-discrimination norms, backed by legal sanctions, can check implicit bias. The strongest form of this argument is that it is impossible to achieve equal opportunity in any society with inequality of result—impossible because objective inequalities inevitably stamp into our minds subjective associations that inevitably contaminate personnel judgments that require the exercise of discretion. We discuss numerous problems with this argument (and the related argument that radical changes to anti-discrimination law are in order) but concede that the debate over what steps, short of quotas, can check implicit prejudice is not resolvable given the paucity of data that clashing camps jointly treat as probative. To avoid a protracted stalemate, we urge adversarial collaborations in which the debaters agree, ex ante, on research designs with the potential to induce both sides to change their minds.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Research in Organizational Behavior
Show more