I copied this from an email I received from Ken Pope's mailing list. Feel free to discuss.The University of Washington issued the following news release about a
series of studies in * Journal of Personality and Social Psychology*:
All prejudice isn't created equal; whites distribute it unequally to
The Declaration of Independence may proclaim that all men are created
equal, but American whites tend to distribute their prejudice unequally
toward certain members of minority groups, according to new research.
A series of six studies conducted by University of Washington and
Michigan State University psychologists shows that whites react more
negatively to racial minority individuals who strongly identify with
their racial group than to racial minority individuals who weakly
identify with their group.
The research, published in the current issue of the Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, provides an explanation for why some
Blacks report personally experiencing more prejudice than others.
"Research has shown that the more minorities identify with their group,
the more prejudice they report experiencing," said Kaiser. "Most
research has explained this finding by focusing on factors within
minorities that make some individuals more susceptible to perceiving
prejudice than others. Our studies provide an alternative explanation by
showing that whites react more negatively toward strongly identified
minorities than weakly identified ones."
The researchers believe strongly identified minorities are not paranoid
in claiming they experience increased levels of prejudice and weakly
identified minorities are not being self-deceptive when they report
experiencing low levels of prejudice, said Cheryl Kaiser, a UW assistant
psychology professor and lead author of the paper. Instead, they just
may simply be reporting on reality as they experience it.
"Take a situation where a person is ambiguously rejected for a new job,"
she said. "A person with a strong minority identification might wonder
if the rejection was due to prejudice while one with a weak minority
identification might not. If you experience more prejudice you expect
more prejudice. These things work in tandem and feed each other."
Kaiser and her colleague recruited nearly 400 college students for the
six studies that measured whites' attitudes toward Blacks and Latinos.
They also were surveyed on their general attitudes about Blacks or
Latinos, depending on the study. In the studies, minorities were either
described as being strongly identified (where their group was very
important and a central aspect of their self) or weakly identified
(where their group was less important and not at the core of their self).
She said individuals typically want to be around others who share their
values and exclude people who don't share those values or world views.
The research indicated that whites perceived strongly identified
minorities as less likely to share similar worldviews with them relative
to weakly identified minorities.
"We are not arguing that minorities should not identify with their
group," said Kaiser. "Such identification can be important and provides
meaning, self worth and identity.
"Some research about prejudice has tended to lump members of minorities
into homogenous groups. But there is a lot of heterogeneity. People
differ in looks, language ability, attitudes and many other ways, but we
tend not to pay attention to these factors. That's why it is important
to identify those subsets in groups, why people react to them and what
are the active ingredients of prejudice. Whites need to understand that
they distribute prejudice unevenly and target those who strongly self-
identify as being Black."
Jennifer Pratt-Hyatt, a doctoral student at Michigan State is the co-
author of the paper. The research was funded by the National Science
Foundation and the UW's Royalty Research Fund.