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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 May;84(5):944-59.

The role of intent and harm in judgments of prejudice and discrimination.

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Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA.


Four experiments examined how an actor's intent and the harm experienced by a target influence judgments of prejudice and discrimination. The presence of intent increased the likelihood that participants judged an actor as prejudiced and the actor's behavior as discriminatory. When intent was uncertain, harm influenced judgments of the behavior, which in turn influenced judgments of the actor, and participants were more cautious in their judgments about an actor than an actor's behavior. Harm also played a stronger role in targets' than observers' judgments. Understanding the role of intent and harm on perceptions of prejudice can help explain variations in targets' versus observers', and possibly targets' versus actors', judgments of discrimination and prejudice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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