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Title: Stigma by Association: Examining the Role of Implicit Bias and Contextual Factors in the Perception of Cross-racial Interactions
Authors: Jah, Rohey
Advisors: Sinclair, Stacey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Two studies were conducted to examine racial stigma by association and the differential perceptions of blacks affiliated with whites as a function of the social context in which an interracial interaction occurs. In Study 1 black participants evaluated the social networking profile of a black target presented with either a white or black partner under platonic or romantic conditions. They then gave the target ratings of likeability, perceived similarity and racial identity centrality and completed two single category Implicit Attitudes Tests separately assessing implicit attitudes towards whites and blacks. It was hypothesized that individuals high in implicit pro-black racial attitudes would confer an associative stigma to the target only when he was presented with a white romantic partner. Moreover it was hypothesized that this target would be perceived as having reduced racial identity centrality and similarity to the participant. Overall, black targets with white partners in any context received lower scores of likability and perceived racial identity centrality however this was not the case for similarity. We also found marginal evidence in support of our hypothesis; participants high in pro-black bias perceived the target to be less likable, however this was only the case when he was presented with a white romantic partner. In Study 2 black students from a predominantly white university replicated the aforementioned procedure, however seemingly contradicting findings were observed; targets paired with a white partner, irrespective of implicit attitudes or context, were seen as more likable and similar. Our findings verify that a robust stigma by association effect can be observed in the black community and this effect may be driven by a sense of reduced perceived racial identity centrality when an individual is engaged in an interracial romantic relationship in particular. Our findings also suggest however, that the observation of this phenomenon may hinge upon the particular black population sampled. Future studies should further investigate the precise mechanism that leads individuals to confer associative stigmas on in-group members engaged in cross-group interactions.
Extent: 38 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2020

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