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Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2013 Oct;19(4):445-52. doi: 10.1037/a0032658. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

The dynamics of intergroup helping: the case of subtle bias against Latinos.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University.


Despite the traditional importance of Latinos in the U.S., the growing Latino population, and evidence of group-based disparities, psychological studies of discrimination against Latinos are surprisingly rare. The present research investigated the relationship between prejudice against Latinos and subtle bias, specifically the degree to which people offer autonomy-oriented relative to dependency-oriented assistance to a Latina in need. Participants read scenarios that described concrete social problems faced by particular Latinas, African Americans, or Whites and then indicated their support for forms of helping. Participants higher in prejudice against Latinos, assessed with an adaptation of the Modern Racism Scale, were less likely to offer autonomy-oriented help, and significantly more so after reading scenarios about a Latina than about an African American or a White woman. These findings extend previous work by identifying, experimentally, subtle bias against Latinas in helping and directly implicate the role of prejudice against Latinos in this process.

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