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At the Crossroads of Race: Racial Ambiguity and Biracial Identification Influence Psychological Essentialist Thinking

At the Crossroads of Race: Racial Ambiguity and Biracial Identification Influence Psychological... Racial essentialism refers to the widely held belief that race is a biological, stable, and natural category. Although research finds very little evidence that race has biological underpinnings, racial essentialist beliefs persist and are linked to negative outgroup consequences. This study initially demonstrates that label and visual ambiguity concurrently inform racial categorization. It then tests whether exposure to racially ambiguous targets (a) challenges essentialism when ambiguous targets are labeled with biracial categories and (b) reinforces essentialism when ambiguous targets identify with monoracial categories. The results showed that White perceivers (N = 84) who were exposed to racially ambiguous, biracially labeled targets showed reductions in their essentialist thinking about race, whereas perceivers who were exposed to racially ambiguous, monoracially labeled targets showed increases in their essentialist beliefs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology American Psychological Association

At the Crossroads of Race: Racial Ambiguity and Biracial Identification Influence Psychological Essentialist Thinking

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References (46)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
© 2013 American Psychological Association
ISSN
1099-9809
eISSN
1939-0106
DOI
10.1037/a0032565
pmid
23914743
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Racial essentialism refers to the widely held belief that race is a biological, stable, and natural category. Although research finds very little evidence that race has biological underpinnings, racial essentialist beliefs persist and are linked to negative outgroup consequences. This study initially demonstrates that label and visual ambiguity concurrently inform racial categorization. It then tests whether exposure to racially ambiguous targets (a) challenges essentialism when ambiguous targets are labeled with biracial categories and (b) reinforces essentialism when ambiguous targets identify with monoracial categories. The results showed that White perceivers (N = 84) who were exposed to racially ambiguous, biracially labeled targets showed reductions in their essentialist thinking about race, whereas perceivers who were exposed to racially ambiguous, monoracially labeled targets showed increases in their essentialist beliefs.

Journal

Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority PsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Oct 5, 2013

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