Making the invisible visible: Acts of commission and omission

Stephanie A. Fryberg*, Arianne E. Eason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Social psychological theorizing on prejudice and discrimination, which largely focuses on tangible or verifiable content of people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions toward a group (what we term commissions), falls short in capturing the nature of prejudice and discrimination directed toward Native Americans. Utilizing the literature on the prevalence, content, and consequences of representations of Native Americans, we argue that aspects of the world that are invisible or intentionally left out of the public conscious, what we refer to as omissions, hold important meaning for both Native and non-Native individuals. We propose that a framework of bias that incorporates both omissions and commissions will enrich our understanding of bias, prejudice, and discrimination and better elucidate the experiences of groups that are historically underrepresented and underserved by social science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Bias
  • Invisibility
  • Native Americans
  • Omission
  • Prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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