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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009 Feb;96(2):432-45. doi: 10.1037/a0012877.

Distributing prejudice unequally: do Whites direct their prejudice toward strongly identified minorities?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1525, USA.


Across 6 studies, Whites expressed more negative attitudes toward strongly identified racial minorities than toward weakly identified minorities. Whites who personally endorsed worldviews that legitimize the status hierarchy were particularly likely to express negative attitudes toward strongly identified minorities relative to weakly identified minorities, whereas Whites who personally rejected status-legitimizing worldviews displayed the opposite pattern. In addition, Whites' biases against strongly identified minorities dissipated when strongly identified minorities expressed strong endorsement of status-legitimizing worldviews. These studies suggest that Whites do not distribute their prejudicial attitudes equally among all members of minority groups and that some subsets of minorities (the strongly identified) might bear the brunt of racial prejudice.

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