On the Precipice of a ‚ÄúMajority-Minority‚ÄĚ America: Perceived Status Threat From the Racial Demographic Shift Affects White Americans‚Äô Political Ideology

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-02-01 15:23Z by Steven

On the Precipice of a ‚ÄúMajority-Minority‚ÄĚ America: Perceived Status Threat From the Racial Demographic Shift Affects White Americans‚Äô Political Ideology

Psychological Science
Volume 25, Issue 6 (2014-06-01)
pages 1189-1197
DOI: 10.1177/0956797614527113

Maureen A. Craig, Assistant Professor of Psychology
New York University

Jennifer A. Richeson, Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology
Yale University

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that racial minority groups will make up a majority of the U.S. national population in 2042, effectively creating a so-called majority-minority nation. In four experiments, we explored how salience of such racial demographic shifts affects White Americans’ political-party leanings and expressed political ideology. Study 1 revealed that making California’s majority-minority shift salient led politically unaffiliated White Americans to lean more toward the Republican Party and express greater political conservatism. Studies 2, 3a, and 3b revealed that making the changing national racial demographics salient led White Americans (regardless of political affiliation) to endorse conservative policy positions more strongly. Moreover, the results implicate group-status threat as the mechanism underlying these effects. Taken together, this work suggests that the increasing diversity of the nation may engender a widening partisan divide.

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Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-08-24 22:03Z by Steven

Essentialism and Racial Bias Jointly Contribute to the Categorization of Multiracial Individuals

Psychological Science
Volume 26, Number 10 (October 2015)
pages 1639-1645
DIO: 10.1177/0956797615596436

Arnold K. Ho, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Organizational Studies
University of Michigan

Steven O. Roberts, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan

Susan A. Gelman, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
University of Michigan

Categorizations of multiracial individuals provide insight into the psychological mechanisms driving social stratification, but few studies have explored the interplay of cognitive and motivational underpinnings of these categorizations. In the present study, we integrated research on racial essentialism (i.e., the belief that race demarcates unobservable and immutable properties) and negativity bias (i.e., the tendency to weigh negative entities more heavily than positive entities) to explain why people might exhibit biases in the categorization of multiracial individuals. As theorized, racial essentialism, both dispositional (Study 1) and experimentally induced (Study 2), led to the categorization of Black-White multiracial individuals as Black, but only among individuals evaluating Black people more negatively than White people. These findings demonstrate how fundamental cognitive and motivational biases interact to influence the categorization of multiracial individuals.

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Where We Live Affects Our Bias Against Mixed-Race Individuals, Psychology Study Finds

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-03-31 18:08Z by Steven

Where We Live Affects Our Bias Against Mixed-Race Individuals, Psychology Study Finds

NYU News
New York University
2016-03-14

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

Whites living in areas where they are less exposed to those of other races have a harder time categorizing mixed-race individuals than do Whites with greater interracial exposure, a condition that is associated with greater prejudice against mixed-race individuals, a new experimental study shows.

For decades, research has shown that Whites with lower interracial exposure show greater prejudice against Blacks, but the new study finds they also show a greater prejudice against mixed-race individuals‚ÄĒthe fastest growing racial group in the United States.

‚ÄúOur findings show that White individuals with lower interracial exposure tend to exhibit greater prejudice against mixed-race individuals,‚ÄĚ explains Jonathan Freeman, an assistant professor in New York University‚Äôs Department of Psychology and the study‚Äôs lead author. ‚ÄúThe results suggest that this bias arises in individuals with lower interracial exposure because they visually process racially ambiguous faces in a more difficult and unpredictable fashion, and this unstable experience translates into negative biases against mixed-race people.‚ÄĚ

A video outlining the research may be viewed here.

The study’s other authors included Kristin Pauker, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Diana Sanchez, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University.

The research, which appears in the journal Psychological Science, considered two national samples totaling approximately 350 subjects. It determined subjects‚Äô interracial exposure by matching Census data with their zip codes. To gauge subjects‚Äô responses, the researchers relied on an innovative mouse-tracking technique that uses an individual‚Äôs hand movements to reveal unconscious cognitive processes. Unlike surveys, in which individuals can consciously alter their responses, this technique requires respondents to make split-second decisions about others where an unconscious‚ÄĒand more honest‚ÄĒpreference can be uncovered through their hand-motion trajectory…

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A Perceptual Pathway to Bias: Interracial Exposure Reduces Abrupt Shifts in Real-Time Race Perception That Predict Mixed-Race Bias

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-15 14:06Z by Steven

A Perceptual Pathway to Bias: Interracial Exposure Reduces Abrupt Shifts in Real-Time Race Perception That Predict Mixed-Race Bias

Psychological Science
Volume 27, Issue 4, 2016
pages 502‚Äď517
DOI: 10.1177/0956797615627418

Jonathan B. Freeman, Assistant Professor of Psychology
New York University

Kristin Pauker, Assistant Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii, Manoa

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Psychology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

In two national samples, we examined the influence of interracial exposure in one’s local environment on the dynamic process underlying race perception and its evaluative consequences. Using a mouse-tracking paradigm, we found in Study 1 that White individuals with low interracial exposure exhibited a unique effect of abrupt, unstable White-Black category shifting during real-time perception of mixed-race faces, consistent with predictions from a neural-dynamic model of social categorization and computational simulations. In Study 2, this shifting effect was replicated and shown to predict a trust bias against mixed-race individuals and to mediate the effect of low interracial exposure on that trust bias. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that interracial exposure shapes the dynamics through which racial categories activate and resolve during real-time perceptions, and these initial perceptual dynamics, in turn, may help drive evaluative biases against mixed-race individuals. Thus, lower-level perceptual aspects of encounters with racial ambiguity may serve as a foundation for mixed-race prejudice.

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Essentializing Race: Implications for Bicultural Individuals’ Cognition and Physiological Reactivity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2012-03-02 15:29Z by Steven

Essentializing Race: Implications for Bicultural Individuals’ Cognition and Physiological Reactivity

Psychological Science
Volume 18, Number 4 (April 2007)
pages 341-348
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01901.x

Melody Manchi Chao
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Jing Chen
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Glenn I. Roisman
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ying-yi Hong
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

It is a widely held belief that racial groups have underlying essences. We hypothesized that bicultural individuals who hold this essentialist belief about race are oriented to perceive rigid interracial boundaries and experience difficulty passing between their ethnic culture and the host culture. As predicted, we found that the more strongly Chinese American participants endorsed an essentialist belief about race, the less effective they were in switching rapidly between Chinese and American cultural frames in a reaction time task (Study 1), and the greater emotional reactivity they exhibited (reflected in heightened skin conductance) while they talked about their Chinese and American cultural experiences (Study 2). Taken together, these findings suggest that essentialist beliefs about race set up a mind-set that influences how bicultural individuals navigate between their ethnic and host cultures.

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Why Barack Obama Is Black: A Cognitive Account of Hypodescent

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2011-01-13 12:21Z by Steven

Why Barack Obama Is Black: A Cognitive Account of Hypodescent

Psychological Science
Volume 22, Number 1
(January 2011)
pages 29-33
DOI: 10.1177/0956797610390383

Jamin Halberstadt, Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Otago

Steven J. Sherman, Chancellor’s Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Indiana University, Bloomington

Jeffrey W. Sherman, Professor of Psychology
University of California, Davis

We propose that hypodescent‚ÄĒthe assignment of mixed-race individuals to a minority group‚ÄĒis an emergent feature of basic cognitive processes of learning and categorization. According to attention theory, minority groups are learned by attending to the features that distinguish them from previously learned majority groups. Selective attention creates a strong association between minority groups and their distinctive features, producing a tendency to see individuals who possess a mixture of majority- and minority-group traits as minority-group members. Two experiments on face categorization, using both naturally occurring and manipulated minority groups, support this view, suggesting that hypodescent need not be the product of racist or political motivations, but can be sufficiently explained by an individual‚Äôs learning history.

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Priming Race in Biracial Observers Affects Visual Search for Black and White Faces

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2010-05-19 01:52Z by Steven

Priming Race in Biracial Observers Affects Visual Search for Black and White Faces

Psychological Science
Volume 17, Number 5 (2006)
Pages 387-392

Joan Y. Chiao, Assistant Professor of Brain, Behavior, and Cognition; Social Psychology
Northwestern University

Hannah E. Heck
Harvard University

Ken Nakayama, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology
Harvard University

Nalini Ambady, Professor and Neubauer Faculty Fellow
Tufts University

We examined whether or not priming racial identity would influence Black-White biracial individuals’ ability to visually search for White and Black faces. Black, White, and biracial participants performed a visual search task in which the targets were Black or White faces. Before the task, the biracial participants were primed with either their Black or their White racial identity. All participant groups detected Black faces faster than White faces. Critically, the results also showed a racial-prime effect in biracial individuals: The magnitude of the search asymmetry was significantly different for those primed with their White identity and those primed with their Black identity. These findings suggest that topdown factors such as one’s racial identity can influence mechanisms underlying the visual search for faces of different races.

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Research Report: Black + White = Black: Hypodescent in Reflexive Categorization of Racially Ambiguous Faces

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2010-02-16 21:03Z by Steven

Research Report: Black + White = Black: Hypodescent in Reflexive Categorization of Racially Ambiguous Faces

Psychological Science
Volume 19, Number 10 (2008)
pages 973-977

Destiny Peery
Department of Psychology, Northwestern University

Galen V. Bodenhausen, Lawyer Taylor Professor of Psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
Northwestern University

Historically, the principle of hypodescent specified that individuals with one Black and one White parent should be considered Black. Two experiments examined whether categorizations of racially ambiguous targets reflect this principle. Participants studied ambiguous target faces accompanied by profiles that either did or did not identify the targets as having multiracial backgrounds (biological, cultural, or both biological and cultural). Participants then completed a speeded dual categorization task requiring Black/not Black and White/ not White judgments (Experiments 1 and 2) and deliberate categorization tasks requiring participants to describe the races (Experiment 2) of target faces. When a target was known to have mixed-race ancestry, participants were more likely to rapidly categorize the target as Black (and not White); however, the same cues also increased deliberate categorizations of the targets as ‚Äė‚Äėmultiracial.‚Äô‚Äô These findings suggest that hypodescent still characterizes the automatic racial categorizations of many perceivers, although more complex racial identities may be acknowledged upon more thoughtful reflection.

After being told that Barack Obama‚Äôs mother was White and father was Black, a majority of White and Hispanic interviewees said they considered him multiracial (White, 2006). Does this result highlight the inadequacy of monoracial categories in understanding multiracial people, or does it merely reflect a superficial semantic distinction, with Obama still largely viewed and evaluated in terms of his Black heritage? The categories applied to multiracial persons carry important implications for their self-esteem and experiences of discrimination (Herman, 2004). Thus, it is important to understand how multiracial people are categorized by others…

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