Effects of atypical exemplars on racial beliefs : enlightened racism or generalized appraisals

Bodenhausen, G. V. and Schwarz, N. and Bless, H. and WÄNKE, M.. (1995) Effects of atypical exemplars on racial beliefs : enlightened racism or generalized appraisals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 31 , H. 1. pp. 48-63.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250749

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Although African-Americans as a group are economically disadvantaged compared to the white majority group, there are numerous salient counterexamples of black affluence. How do media images of highly successful African-Americans affect Whites` beliefs about the economic or political status of African-Americans as a whole? Three experiments are reported that begin to address this question by surreptitiously activating thoughts about specific exemplars of African-American success and observing the consequences for a measure of perceived discrimination against Blacks. Contrary to the Enlightened Racism perspective, which claims that images of affluent African-Americans are taken by white audiences as evidence of a lack of discriminatory barriers to black success. Experiment 1 revealed that prior activation of a successful, well-liked black exemplar resulted in increased perceptions of discrimination in contemporary society. Experiment 2 replicated this effect and showed further that it is limited to successful exemplars who are well liked; successful exemplars about whom subjects had more neutral attitudes did not produce any changes in perceptions of discrimination. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that the effect of successful, well-liked exemplars vanishes when people first think about the fact that the exemplars are atypical members of the group. These findings are discussed in terms of a generalized appraisal process in which momentarily salient outgroup exemplars influence intergroup attitudes, which in turn affect judgments and beliefs about the group via an attitude heuristic. (C) 1995 Academic Press, Inc.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Sozial- und Wirtschaftspsychologie (Wänke)
UniBasel Contributors:Wänke, Michaela
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Academic Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:24
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:42

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