Modern prejudice: Subtle, but unconscious? The role of Bias Awareness in Whites' perceptions of personal and others' biases

Sylvia P. Perry*, Mary C. Murphy, John F. Dovidio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Three studies introduced the construct of bias awareness and examined its effect on Whites' responses to evidence of personal and others' racial biases. Contemporary theories of prejudice suggest that awareness of personal bias is a critical step in reducing one's prejudice and discrimination. When bias is a cloaked in a way that people do not recognize, they are likely to continue to perpetuate their biased behaviors and unlikely to reduce their negative attitudes. However, when people become aware of their biases, they often adjust their attitudes and behavior to be more egalitarian. The present research investigated (a) individual differences in Whites' awareness of their propensity to express subtly biased behavior against Blacks in interracial contexts (Study 1), (b) the convergent and discriminant validity of a new individual difference measure of bias awareness (Studies 1, 2, and 3), (c) whether this measure uniquely predicts Whites' responses to a difficult race-related context-receiving feedback that they are high in implicit bias from an Implicit Association Test (R-IAT; Study 2), and (d) whether this measure uniquely predicts Whites' perceptions of others' racial bias, particularly subtle expressions (Study 3). Results revealed that the Bias Awareness Scale measures a distinct construct that uniquely predicts Whites' emotional and behavioral responses to information about their own bias, and their ability to detect bias in others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-78
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bias awareness
  • Intergroup relations
  • Interracial contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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