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Open Access

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Master of Science (M.S.)

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stereotyping, prejudice, multiculturalism, colorblindness, racial categorization


Two studies were conducted to explore the effects of the sociopolitical ideologies colorblindness and multiculturalism on perceivers’ (1) automatic awareness of race and (2) automatic racial stereotyping. Study 1 showed that a colorblind prime caused White perceivers to notice White targets’ race more compared to a no prime condition, although non-White perceivers were able to ignore race when primed with colorblindness. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, caused individuals to notice race no differently than the control. In terms of stereotyping, Study 2 showed that a colorblind prime did not change automatic stereotyping of Black or White targets. In contrast, multiculturalism increased automatic positive stereotyping of Black targets compared to the control condition, but did not affect stereotyping of White targets. Implications discussed include why colorblindness might affect White and non-White perceivers differently as well as whether or not decreased positive stereotyping of Whites (in the case of colorblindness) and increased positive stereotyping of both Blacks (in the case of multiculturalism) are beneficial ways to attain national unity.


First Advisor

Nilanjana Dasgupta