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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

February

First Advisor

Brian Lickel

Abstract

Three experiments examined the effects of speaker race on Whites’ reactions to statements expressing prejudice towards Blacks and affirmative action policies. In Experiment 1, participants read an argument by either a White or Black author stating that discrimination against Blacks no longer exists, and that affirmative action policies are no longer needed. Results indicated that Whites, particularly those highly motivated to respond without prejudice, were more likely to agree with the Black versus White author. Experiment 2 extended the within-minority group speaker results of Study 1 by finding that an inter-minority group (Asian) speaker was also generally more persuasive than the White author. Finally, Experiment 3 tested the effectiveness of an intervention strategy, finding that confrontation of the Black author by either a Black or White person indirectly reduced agreement with the Black author’s statements. These findings help to further understanding of the circumstances under which Whites recognize racial prejudice and support public policies designed to reduce racial inequalities.

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