Following in the wake of anger: When not discriminating is discriminating

Jenessa R. Shapiro, Joshua M. Ackerman, Steven L. Neuberg, Jon K. Maner, D. Vaughn Becker, Douglas T. Kenrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Does seeing a scowling face change your impression of the next person you see? Does this depend on the race of the two people? Across four studies, White participants evaluated neutrally expressive White males as less threatening when they followed angry (relative to neutral) White faces; Black males were not judged as less threatening following angry Black faces. This lack of threat-anchored contrast for Black male faces is not attributable to a general tendency for White targets to homogenize Black males-neutral Black targets following smiling Black faces were contrasted away from them and seen as less friendly-and emerged only for perceivers low in motivation to respond without prejudice (i.e., for those relatively comfortable responding prejudicially). This research provides novel evidence for the overperception of threat in Black males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1367
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Internal motivation to respond without prejudice
  • Prejudice
  • Race
  • Stereotypes
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Following in the wake of anger: When not discriminating is discriminating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this