Ambivalent Reactions to People Who Deny or Admit Their Gender and Racial Biases

Sylvia Perry, Allison L. Skinner, James E. Wages, Johannes Parzonka, John F. Dovidio

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Sep 13, 2019
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Received Date: 8th September 19

In the face of evidence that someone is socially biased or prejudiced, we examined how people react to those who deny or admit having such flaws. We proposed the novel hypothesis that people’s perceptions and evaluations of individuals who deny or admit their social biases may be ambivalent. As such, we hypothesized that when a denier and an admitter of social bias would be considered together, people would react to the denier more negatively than to the admitter. However, when a denier and an admitter would be considered independently, we predicted the individual’s self-report about whether or not they were biased would be accommodated, such that the denier would be perceived as less prejudiced than the admitter. In eight studies (N= 3,933), we tested this hypothesis for both gender and racial biases, across participant gender and race, and with multiple indicators of bias (i.e., an implicit bias test; subtle and blatant hiring discrimination). Findings across studies provided robust support for our hypothesis, suggesting that people have mixed reactions to individuals who deny or admit their social biases.

Read in full at PsyArXiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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