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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Turning up the race card

 

When the Half Affects the Whole: Priming Identity for Biracial Individuals in Social Interactions

Sarah Gaither, Samuel Sommers & Nalini Ambady
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In two studies we investigate how the fluid identities of biracial individuals interact with contextual factors to shape behavior in interracial settings. In Study 1, Biracial Black/White participants (n= 22) were primed with either their Black or White identity before having a race-related discussion with a Black confederate. Study 2 (n= 34) assessed the influence of our prime on racial self-identification and examined interactions with a White confederate. Self-reports and nonverbal behavior indicated that when the primed racial ingroup matched that of an interaction partner, biracial participants behaved much like participants in same-race interactions in previous studies, exhibiting lower levels of anxiety. Priming the opposite racial identity, however, led to greater signs of anxiety, mimicking past interracial interaction findings. These results extend previous findings regarding the influence of contextual factors on racial identification for biracial individuals, and are the first to demonstrate the implications of these effects for behavioral tendencies.

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The Return of Old-Fashioned Racism to White Americans' Partisan Preferences in the Early Obama Era

Michael Tesler
Journal of Politics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Old-fashioned racism (OFR) was unrelated to white Americans' partisan preferences throughout the post-civil rights era. This study argues OFR could return to white partisanship following decades of dormancy because of Obama's presidency. After first demonstrating that such attitudes were significantly stronger predictors of opposition to Obama than ideologically similar white Democrats, I support that spillover hypothesis with the following evidence: opposition to interracial dating was correlated with white partisanship in 2009 despite being unrelated to party identification in 12 earlier surveys; moreover, evaluations of Obama completely mediated that relationship between OFR and partisanship; old-fashioned racism predicted changes in white panelists' partisanship between 2006 and 2011; these attitudes were also a stronger determinant of midterm vote preferences in 2010 than they were in 2006, with that relationship once again mediated by President Obama; and experimentally connecting Obama to congressional candidates significantly increased the relationship between OFR and 2010 preferences.

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The Invisible Man: Interpersonal Goals Moderate Inattentional Blindness to African Americans

Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on inattentional blindness demonstrates that when attending to 1 set of stimuli, people often fail to consciously perceive a task-irrelevant object. In this experiment, we tested for selective inattentional blindness to racial outgroup members. We reasoned that some racial groups would be perceived as more relevant than others, depending on the interpersonal goal that was active. White participants were primed with interpersonal goals that ranged from psychologically distant (searching for a coworker) to psychologically close (searching for a romantic partner). In the control condition, no goal was explicitly activated. Then, participants watched a video of 2 teams passing a ball and were asked to count the ball passes of one of the teams. In the middle of the video, a Caucasian or an African American man walked through the scene. Participants were then asked to report whether they had seen the interloper. Results revealed that as interpersonal goals became closer to the self, participants were less likely to see the African American man. This research demonstrates a new form of social exclusion based on early attention processes that may perpetuate racial bias.

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Not Just for Stereotyping Anymore: Racial Essentialism Reduces Domain-General Creativity

Carmit Tadmor et al.
Psychological Science, January 2013, Pages 99-105

Abstract:
Individuals who believe that racial groups have fixed underlying essences use stereotypes more than do individuals who believe that racial categories are arbitrary and malleable social-political constructions. Would this essentialist mind-set also lead to less creativity? We suggest that the functional utility derived from essentialism induces a habitual closed-mindedness that transcends the social domain and hampers creativity. Across studies, using both individual difference measures (in a pilot test) and experimental manipulations (Experiments 1, 2a, and 2b), we found that an essentialist mind-set is indeed hazardous for creativity, with the relationship mediated by motivated closed-mindedness (Experiments 2a and 2b). These results held across samples of majority cultural-group members (Caucasian Americans, Israelis) and minority-group members (Asian Americans), as well as across different measures of creativity (flexibility, association, insight). Our findings have important implications for understanding the connection between racial intolerance and creativity.

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Taking a New Perspective to Latino Racial Attitudes: Examining the Impact of Skin Tone on Latino Perceptions of Commonality with Whites and Blacks

Betina Cutaia Wilkinson & Emily Earle
American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research has taken note of the steadfast growth of the Latino population in the United States by examining Latino attitudes toward those commonly identified as nonimmigrants, Whites and Blacks. Extant literature on Latino racial attitudes explores the determinants of Latinos' perceptions of commonality with Whites and Blacks, yet it has greatly overlooked the impact that skin tone, a key differentiating factor of Latinos, has in explaining these attitudes. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey, we develop models that examine the extent that skin tone explains Latinos' commonality with Whites and Blacks. We find that self-reported skin tone considerably explains Latinos' attitudes toward Whites and Blacks with light-skinned Latinos sensing greater commonality with Whites and less commonality with Blacks than dark-skinned Latinos. We also find that skin tone moderates the relationship between linked fate with Latinos and closeness with Whites and the relationship between social contact and closeness with Blacks and Whites.

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Living with an Other-Race Roommate Shapes Whites' Behavior in Subsequent Diverse Settings

Sarah Gaither & Samuel Sommers
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2013, Pages 272-276

Abstract:
In a multi-phase research design over two academic semesters, White college students assigned to either a same-race or other-race roommate were tracked across two survey phases and a third phase involving an interracial interaction with a Black stranger. After four months, Whites who lived with an other-race roommate came to have more diverse friends and believe that diversity was more important than did Whites with a White roommate. After six months, self-reports, partner ratings, and nonverbal behavior indicated that Whites with an other-race roommate were less anxious, more pleasant, and more physically engaged during a novel interracial interaction. These results demonstrate that residential contact with other-race individuals not only affects race-related attitudes, but can also reduce interracial anxiety and positively influence behavior in subsequent diverse settings.

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When Compliments Fail to Flatter: American Individualism and Responses to Positive Stereotypes

John Oliver Siy & Sapna Cheryan
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January 2013, Pages 87-102

Abstract:
Five studies show that being the target of a positive stereotype is a negative interpersonal experience for those from individualistic cultures because positive stereotypes interfere with their desire to be seen as individuals separate from their groups. U.S.-born Asian Americans and women who heard a positive stereotype about their group in an intergroup interaction (e.g., "Asians are good at math," "women are nurturing") derogated their partner and experienced greater negative emotions than those who heard no stereotype. Negative reactions were mediated by a sense of being depersonalized, or "lumped together" with others in one's group, by the positive stereotype (Studies 1-3). Cross-cultural differences (Study 4) and an experimental manipulation of cultural self-construal (Study 5) demonstrated that those with an independent self-construal reacted more negatively to positive stereotypes than those with an interdependent self-construal. By bringing together research on stereotypes from the target's perspective with research on culture, this work demonstrates how cultural self-construals inform the way people interpret and respond to being the target of positive stereotypes.

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An Intersectional Analysis of Gender and Ethnic Stereotypes: Testing Three Hypotheses

Negin Ghavami & Letitia Anne Peplau
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
We compared perceived cultural stereotypes of diverse groups varying by gender and ethnicity. Using a free-response procedure, we asked 627 U.S. undergraduates to generate 10 attributes for 1 of 17 groups: Asian Americans, Blacks, Latinos, Middle Eastern Americans, or Whites; men or women; or 10 gender-by-ethnic groups (e.g., Black men or Latina women). Based on intersectionality theory and social dominance theory, we developed and tested three hypotheses. First, consistent with the intersectionality hypothesis, gender-by-ethnic stereotypes contained unique elements that were not the result of adding gender stereotypes to ethnic stereotypes. Second, in support of an ethnicity hypothesis, stereotypes of ethnic groups were generally more similar to stereotypes of the men than of the women in each group. Third, a gender hypothesis postulated that stereotypes of men and women will be most similar to stereotypes of White men and White women, less similar to ethnic minority men and ethnic minority women, and least similar to Black men and Black women. This hypothesis was confirmed for target women, but results for target men were mixed. Collectively, our results contribute to research, theory, and practice by demonstrating that ethnic and gender stereotypes are complex and that the intersections of these social categories produce meaningful differences in the way groups are perceived.

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Experiencing discrimination increases risk-taking

Jeremy Jamieson et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Prior research has revealed racial disparities in health outcomes and more health-compromising behaviors, such as smoking and drug abuse. It has been suggested that discrimination may contribute to such disparities, but the mechanisms through which this occurs are not well understood. Here, we examined whether the experience of discrimination affects acute physiological stress responses and increases risk-taking behavior. Black and White participants received rejecting feedback from partners who were either the same race (in-group rejection) or a different race (out-group rejection/discrimination). Physiological (cardiovascular and neuroendocrine) changes, cognitive processes (memory and attentional bias), and risk-taking behavior were assessed. Significant participant-race by partner-race interactions were observed. Cross-race, compared to same-race, rejection was associated with lower cortisol, increased cardiac output, decreased vascular resistance, greater anger, and more risk-taking behavior. These data suggest distinct profiles of physiological reactivity, cognitive processing, and risk-taking in response to discrimination implicating direct and indirect pathways to health disparities.

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Amygdala Sensitivity to Race Is Not Present in Childhood but Emerges over Adolescence

Eva Telzer et al.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, February 2013, Pages 234-244

Abstract:
Neuroimaging research in adults has consistently found that differential perception of race is associated with increased amygdala activity. We hypothesized that such neural biases unlikely reflect innate processes but instead emerge over development. In the current study, we used fMRI to examine the neurodevelopmental trajectory of the amygdala in response to race across childhood and adolescence ranging from 4 to 16 years. Thirty-two youths viewed African American and European American faces during a functional brain scan. Results suggest that differential amygdala response to African American faces does not emerge until adolescence, reflecting the increasing salience of race across development. In addition, greater peer diversity was associated with attenuated amygdala response to African American faces, suggesting that intergroup racial contact may reduce the salience of race.

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The Insidious (and ironic) Effects of Positive Stereotypes

Aaron Kay et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2013, Pages 287-291

Abstract:
The present research demonstrates that positive stereotypes - though often treated as harmless, flattering and innocuous - may represent an especially insidious means of promoting antiquated beliefs about social groups. Specifically, across four studies (and one replication), the authors demonstrate that exposure to positive stereotypes towards African Americans (i.e., they are superior athletes) are at once both especially unlikely to arouse skepticism and emotional vigilance while also especially likely to produce antiquated and harmful beliefs towards members of the target group (compared to both baseline conditions and exposure to negative stereotypes), including beliefs in the biological (or "natural") underpinnings of group differences and, ironically, the application of negative stereotypes.

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Discrimination and psychological distress: Does Whiteness matter for Arab Americans?

Sawsan Abdulrahim et al.
Social Science & Medicine, December 2012, Pages 2116-2123

Abstract:
The white racial category in the U.S. encompasses persons who have Arab ancestry. Arab Americans, however, have always occupied a precarious position in relationship to Whiteness. This study examined differences in reporting racial/ethnic discrimination among Arab Americans. It also investigated whether and how the association between discrimination and psychological distress varies by characteristics that capture an Arab American's proximity to/distance from Whiteness. We used data from the Detroit Arab American Study (2003; n = 1016), which includes measures of discrimination and the Kessler-10 scale of psychological distress. A series of logistic regression models were specified to test the discrimination-psychological distress association, stratified by five measures that capture Whiteness - subjective racial identification, religion, skin color, ethnic centrality, and residence in the ethnic enclave. Discrimination was more frequently reported by Muslim Arab Americans, those who racially identify as non-white, and who live in the ethnic enclave. Conversely, the association between discrimination and psychological distress was stronger for Christian Arab Americans, those who racially identify as white, who have dark skin color, and who live outside the ethnic enclave. Even though Arab Americans who occupy an identity location close to Whiteness are less subjected to discrimination, they are more negatively affected by it. The findings illuminate the complex pathways through which discrimination associates with psychological distress among ‘white' immigrants. Further research on discrimination and health among Arab Americans can help unpack the white racial category and deconstruct Whiteness.

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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice? Teacher Perceptions of Black Girls in the Classroom

Dania Francis
Review of Black Political Economy, September 2012, Pages 311-320

Abstract:
This paper uses national data on eighth grade female students and their English, math and science teachers to examine teacher perceptions of student behavior, such as attentiveness and disruptiveness. Particular attention is paid to differences in perception by student race and socioeconomic status. I find that black female students are perceived as less attentive and more disruptive than their white, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts. Controlling for academic performance and socioeconomic status mitigates the differences in perceptions of attentiveness but not disruptiveness. Further, the perceptions of attentiveness are significantly related to the probability that a teacher recommends a student for honors courses. I discuss the implications of these findings for the educational outcomes of black female students.

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Witnesses to History: Children's Views of Race and the 2008 United States Presidential Election

Meagan Patterson, Erin Pahlke & Rebecca Bigler
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
The 2008 presidential election presented a unique opportunity to examine children's attention to racial issues in politics. We conducted interviews with 6- to 11-year-old children (70 boys, 60 girls; 29 African Americans, 58 European Americans, 43 Latinos) within 3 weeks prior to and after the election. Interview questions concerned knowledge, preferences, and perceptions of others' attitudes concerning the election, views of the implications of the election for race relations, and personal aspirations to become president. Results indicated that children were highly knowledgeable about Obama's status as the first African American president. Most children felt positively about the presence of an African American candidate for president, although a few children showed clear racial prejudice. Overall, children expected others to show racial ingroup preferences but simultaneously endorsed the optimistic view that Obama's race was a slight asset in his bid for the presidency. Older children were somewhat more likely to view Obama's race as negatively impacting his chances of being elected than younger children. African American and Latino children were more interested in becoming president than European American children; aspiration rates did not change from pre- to post-election.

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Taking one's time in feeling other-race pain: An event-related potential investigation on the time-course of cross-racial empathy

Paola Sessa et al.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using the event-related potential (ERP) approach, we tracked the time-course of White participants' empathic reactions to White (own-race) and Black (other-race) faces displayed in a painful condition (i.e., with a needle penetrating the skin) and in a non-painful condition (i.e., with Q-tip touching the skin). In a 280-340 ms time-window, neural responses to the pain of own-race individuals under needle penetration conditions were amplified relative to neural responses to the pain of other-race individuals displayed under analogous conditions. This ERP reaction to pain, whose source was localized in the inferior frontal gyrus, correlated with the empathic concern ratings of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index questionnaire. In a 400-750 ms time-window, the difference between neural reactions to the pain of own-race individuals, localized in the middle frontal gyrus, and other-race individuals, localized in the temporo-parietal junction, was reduced to nil. These findings support a functional, neural, and temporal distinction between two sequential processing stages underlying empathy, namely, a race-biased stage of pain sharing/mirroring followed by a race-unbiased stage of cognitive evaluation of pain.

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Implicit Race Bias Decreases the Similarity of Neural Representations of Black and White Faces

Tobias Brosch, Eyal Bar-David & Elizabeth Phelps
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Implicit race bias has been shown to affect decisions and behaviors. It may also change perceptual experience by increasing perceived differences between social groups. We investigated how this phenomenon may be expressed at the neural level by testing whether the distributed blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) patterns representing Black and White faces are more dissimilar in participants with higher implicit race bias. We used multivoxel pattern analysis to predict the race of faces participants were viewing. We successfully predicted the race of the faces on the basis of BOLD activation patterns in early occipital visual cortex, occipital face area, and fusiform face area (FFA). Whereas BOLD activation patterns in early visual regions, likely reflecting different perceptual features, allowed successful prediction for all participants, successful prediction on the basis of BOLD activation patterns in FFA, a high-level face-processing region, was restricted to participants with high pro-White bias. These findings suggest that stronger implicit pro-White bias decreases the similarity of neural representations of Black and White faces.

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Beautiful, Self-Absorbed, and Shallow: People of Color Perceive White Women as an Ethnically Marked Category

Terri Conley
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Non-Whites' stereotypes of White women were examined, comparing three perspectives: (1) White women are perceived similarly to ethnically "generic" stereotypes of women; (2) stereotypes are opposite of stereotypes of participants' own ethnic group; and (3) stereotypes are derived from media images of White women. In Study 1, participants listed stereotypes of White women in an open-ended fashion. In Study 2, those stereotypes were developed into a close-ended questionnaire, completed by a second set of participants. White women were perceived as attractive, blonde, ditsy, shallow, privileged, sexually available, and appearance focused. We concluded that White women are ethnically marked. Stereotypes of White women are consistent with media images of White women.

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Nice and easy does it: How perceptual fluency moderates the effectiveness of imagined contact

Keon West & Susanne Bruckmüller
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2013, Pages 254-262

Abstract:
Recent research has identified several moderators of the effectiveness of imagined contact - a relatively new prejudice-reducing intervention. However, research to date has not examined the meta-cognitive experience of doing an imagined contact task (independent of the content of the instruction set), or the ways in which this meta-cognitive experience could moderate the task's effectiveness. In two experiments, using a font manipulation, we demonstrated that altering the difficulty of the imagined contact task moderates its effects on prejudice. In both experiments, when the instructions were easy to read, participants who imagined intergroup interactions subsequently reported less prejudice than participants in the control condition. However, when the font was difficult to read participants who imagined intergroup interactions subsequently reported as much prejudice or even more prejudice than participants in a control condition. Implications for imagined contact theory, research and application are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM