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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 Dec;87(6):876-93.

Seeing black: race, crime, and visual processing.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. jle@psych.stanford.edu

Abstract

Using police officers and undergraduates as participants, the authors investigated the influence of stereotypic associations on visual processing in 5 studies. Study 1 demonstrates that Black faces influence participants' ability to spontaneously detect degraded images of crime-relevant objects. Conversely, Studies 2-4 demonstrate that activating abstract concepts (i.e., crime and basketball) induces attentional biases toward Black male faces. Moreover, these processing biases may be related to the degree to which a social group member is physically representative of the social group (Studies 4-5). These studies, taken together, suggest that some associations between social groups and concepts are bidirectional and operate as visual tuning devices--producing shifts in perception and attention of a sort likely to influence decision making and behavior.

((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:
15598112
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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