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Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2015 Oct;21(4):507-16. doi: 10.1037/cdp0000016. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

"I thought you were Japanese": Ethnic miscategorization and identity assertion.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Department of Psychology, Princeton University.


Across 2 studies we examined how ethnic minorities respond to ethnic miscategorization. Using a 21-day experience sampling procedure (Study 1), we found that ethnic minorities exhibited greater ethnic identity assertion when they had reported being ethnically miscategorized the previous day. Similarly, we found that ethnic minorities who were ethnically miscategorized (vs. not) by a White partner in the laboratory exhibited greater ethnic identity assertion and expressed greater dislike of their partner (Study 2). In both studies, these effects were stronger for individuals whose ethnic identity was central to their self-concept. The implications of these findings for ethnic identity development and intergroup relations are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record.

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