اثر خودتأییدی بر ادراک نژادپرستی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38940||2006||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8909 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 42, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 616–626
Abstract Two studies tested the hypothesis that a self-affirmation manipulation can eliminate group differences in perception of racism. Latino and White students completed a questionnaire manipulation of self-affirmation followed by a survey measuring perception of racism against stigmatized groups. Results in both studies revealed a predicted main effect such that Latino participants perceived greater racism than did White participants. However, this difference was qualified in both studies by a hypothesized interaction. The group difference in perception of racism was true only of participants in the no-affirmation condition; it was reduced (Study 1) or eliminated (Study 2) among participants who received a self-affirmation treatment. Additional analyses challenge prevailing discourse about motivational sources of ethnic differences in racism perception. Although results provide tentative evidence that the affirmation treatment attenuated perception of racism among Latino participants, they provide stronger evidence that the affirmation treatment facilitated perception of racism among White participants.
Introduction The contrast between the memories of many of the black New Yorkers who were summoned and those of many of the white potential jurors displayed a racial divide in perceptions about the case. Many of the blacks described [the victim’s] ordeal as they would a cultural touchstone … For some of the whites, the [victim’s] case was a half-forgotten news story (Glaberson, 2002). The preceding quote refers to the well-publicized case of a White police officer accused of torturing Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. A similar “racial divide in perceptions” exists for other events, such that Black respondents were more likely than White respondents to perceive racism in the proceedings of the O.J. Simpson trial (Mixon, Foley, & Orme, 1995) and the decision of the United States government to invade Iraq (Kennedy & Cardwell, 2003). In a poll conducted two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, 60% of Block respondents, but less than 20% of White respondents, believed race was a factor in the slow response of the federal government to those affected by the Hurricane (Page & Puente, 2005). More generally, people identified with stigmatized groups that have been chronic targets of societal racism (i.e., target groups) are more likely than people identified with groups that are typically associated with perpetration of racism (i.e., perpetrator groups) to perceive racism directed against stigmatized groups ( Johnson et al., 2003, Operario and Fiske, 2001 and Rodin et al., 1990). Why do some people tend to perceive racism against stigmatized groups while others tend to minimize or deny racism in the same set of events? One explanation is that people from different groups base their judgments of events on different sets of information (Nelson, Branscombe, Schmitt, & Adams, 2004). People from stigmatized groups tend to inhabit worlds where racism figures prominently in collective representations and everyday discourse (Feagin, 1991 and Turner, 1993). They may rely upon this set of information when making judgments about events and conclude that racism is a plausible explanation. In contrast, people from perpetrator groups tend to inhabit worlds where the possibility of racism figures minimally in collective representations and everyday discourse. They may rely upon this set of information when making judgments about events and conclude that racism is not a plausible explanation. The goal of the present study is to explore a different explanation: that people from stigmatized and perpetrator groups face different configurations of threats to the self that motivate either the perception or the minimization of racism. We consider this question within the framework of self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988). Specifically, we test the hypothesis that a self-affirmation treatment—the act of endorsing and writing about an important personal value—will reduce the force of ego-defensive motivations and thereby reduce or eliminate group differences in perception of racism toward stigmatized groups. Motivational influences on perception of racism Individuals from different groups may face different configurations of ego-relevant threats that motivate the denial or perception of racism. One example of an ego-defensive motivation that may apply to members of both target and perpetrator groups is the need to experience the social order as just or legitimate (Lerner, 1980, Major et al., 2002, Major et al., 2002 and Jost and Major, 2002, for multiple perspectives on the psychology of legitimacy). Perceptions of racism may be threatening to the extent that they imply that the social order is not just or legitimate, and people from both target and perpetrator groups may be motivated to deny the prevalence of racism to defend against threatening implications for the sense of fairness and justice (Jost and Banaji, 1994 and Lerner, 1980). However, a motivational account of group differences implies that at least some of the forces that influence perception and minimization of racism differ for members of perpetrator and target groups. People from target groups On one hand, a variety of perspectives suggest that people from target groups may sometimes be motivated to perceive rather than minimize racism in everyday events. For example, a vigilance perspective emphasizes the reality of racism as an environmental threat and a corresponding motivation for people from target groups to maintain a relatively low threshold for perceiving racism as a way to protect themselves against this threat (e.g., Sechrist et al., 2004 and Major et al., 2002). In addition, people from target groups may be motivated to perceive (rather than minimize) racism to deflect blame for ingroup disadvantage away from the alleged shortcomings of their own group and instead locate it in the moral shortcomings of the advantaged group (i.e., racist discrimination; see Major et al., 2002). A related possibility is that group-protective explanations for ingroup position may come to feature prominently in cultural worldviews or group consciousness of target-group communities (Gurin and Townsend, 1986 and Sellers et al., 1998). People from target groups may be motivated to perceive racism in everyday events not to deflect blame from the group, but as a means to maintain and affirm an important ingroup reality (Solomon, Greenberg, & Pyszczynski, 1991). As a possible indication of this process, perception of racism in ambiguous events tends to be greatest among those members who are most strongly identified with the target group (Adams et al., 2004, Branscombe et al., 1999, Major et al., 2003, Operario and Fiske, 2001 and Sellers and Shelton, 2003). On the other hand, a variety of perspectives suggest that people from target groups are motivated to minimize (rather than perceive) racism in everyday events (Crosby, 1993 and Thomas, 2003; for reviews, see Major et al., 2002 and Schmitt and Branscombe, 2002). For people from target groups, the perception of racism implies the threat of chronic, stable, and systematic obstacles to desired outcomes. This threat is associated with increased depression (Kobrynowicz & Branscombe, 1997), hypertension (Landrine & Klonoff, 1996), and hostility towards members of perpetrator groups (Branscombe et al., 1999). People from target groups may be motivated to minimize the extent of racism to protect against these emotional and psychological costs (Branscombe et al., 1999). In addition, people from target groups who claim discrimination suffer social costs (Kaiser & Miller, 2001) and may be motivated to minimize racism in public reports in order to avoid being perceived negatively by others. People from perpetrator groups Most discussions of motivational influences on perception of racism focus on people from target groups, implying that they are the source of group differences in perception of racism. However, people from dominant groups do not have privileged access to an objective reality that they dispassionately perceive through an unbiased lens. Instead, their experience of social reality is also subject to a variety of ego-defensive motivations that may account for ethnic differences in perception of racism. Despite a historical legacy of slavery and racial oppression, a normative climate proscribing overt expressions of racism has developed in the United States over the past half century (e.g., Crandall et al., 2002 and Plant and Devine, 1998). Many individuals from perpetrator groups strive to maintain an unprejudiced self-image (Dutton and Lake, 1973, Gaertner and Dovidio, 1986, Monin and Miller, 2001 and O’Brien, 2002) and report feeling guilty when they are reminded of their prejudices (Monteith & Voils, 1998). Similar motivations to maintain an unprejudiced self-image may operate at the level of collective self or social identity, and these motivations may lead people from perpetrator groups to minimize the extent of racism against target groups. For people from perpetrator groups, the perception of interpersonal racism in society carries with it the implication that one is (or may be) identified with a group that is seen as responsible for racism. As a result, the perception of racism may evoke feelings of collective guilt (Doosje, Branscombe, Spears, & Manstead, 1998) or other negative emotions that constitute a threat to social identity. People from perpetrator groups may be motivated to minimize the extent of racism in judgments about everyday events as a means to reduce this threat. Another possibility concerns motivations to maintain the status quo. Because of their position of relative privilege, people from perpetrator groups may be more motivated than people from target groups to endorse beliefs that legitimize and maintain the status quo (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). To the extent that the admission of racism threatens the legitimacy of the status quo, people from perpetrator groups should be especially motivated to defend against this threat by denying or minimizing the extent of racism (Keltner & Robinson, 1997). Summary People from perpetrator and target groups appear to face divergent motivational pressures when making judgments about the role of racism in everyday events. People from perpetrator groups appear motivated to minimize perceptions of racism in everyday events. In contrast, the balance of motivations that influence people from target groups is more ambiguous. On one hand, they may experience motivations to minimize perceptions of racism in service of self-presentation, self-protection, or the need to experience the social order as just and legitimate (Branscombe et al., 1999, Jost and Banaji, 1994, Kaiser and Miller, 2001 and Lerner, 1980). On the other hand, they may experience motivations to perceive racism in the service of vigilance, deflecting blame for ingroup disadvantage, or worldview defense (Feldman and Swim, 1998, Major et al., 2002 and Solomon et al., 1991). Self-affirmation theory Are group differences in the perception of racism entirely due to informational sources or do they also reflect group differences in the balance of ego-defensive motivations associated with perception of racism? Self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988) provides an experimental methodology for addressing this question. Self-affirmation theory holds that an important psychological goal is the overall experience of self as good, competent, and moral. From this perspective, people can tolerate threats to specific domains of self functioning as long as they can maintain “global conceptions of self-adequacy” (Steele, 1988, p. 289). The self-system need not address threats directly; instead, affirming the self in one domain can be sufficient to buffer threats in another domain. The relevance of self-affirmation for the present topic concerns its effect on motivations to maintain self-protective or defensive biases in construal or evaluation of evidence (Cohen et al., 2000 and Sherman and Cohen, 2002). Previous research has demonstrated that self-affirmation treatments can decrease such self-protective or defensive behaviors as outgroup derogation, (Fein & Spencer, 1997), self-presentation (Spencer, Fein, & Lomore, 2001), and rejection of threatening information (Sherman, Nelson, & Steele, 2000). Applied to the present case, a self-affirmation treatment may reduce the relevance of threats associated with judgments about racism and thereby reduce ego-defensive motivations that promote group differences in perception of racism. If a self-affirmation treatment reduces or eliminates group differences in perception of racism against stigmatized groups, it would imply that these differences are at least partly the result of divergent motivational forces. Overview To investigate the effects of self-affirmation on perception of racism, we randomly assigned White and Latino students from colleges in Southern California, USA, to receive or not receive a self-affirmation treatment. We then considered the effects of this manipulation on responses to a survey that measured perceptions of racism in ambiguous events directed against stigmatized groups. We expected to replicate results of previous research documenting group differences in the perception of racism in ambiguous events. Specifically, we hypothesized that Latino students, a group that has historically been a target of racism in the USA, would perceive greater racism directed against stigmatized groups than would White students, a group that is historically associated with perpetration of racism. However, to the extent that differences in the perception of racism reflect divergent motivational pressures facing members of target and perpetrator groups, we expected an interaction with the self-affirmation treatment. In particular, we hypothesized that group differences would be stronger among students who did not receive self-affirmation treatment, but would be attenuated among students who did receive the self-affirmation treatment. More specifically, we hypothesized that White participants who received the affirmation treatment would perceive more racism than White participants who did not receive the affirmation treatment. The basis for the hypothesis was the expectation that affirming the self would reduce the relevance of pressures—like threats related to awareness that one may be complicit in a racist system—that lead people from advantaged groups to minimize the extent of racism against stigmatized groups. In contrast, reflecting the idea that people from stigmatized groups experience pressure to both minimize and be vigilant for the possibility of racism, we had no unambiguous basis for hypothesizing that Latino participants who received the affirmation treatment would perceive either more or less racism than did Latino participants who did not receive the affirmation treatment. Although grounded in prior research on the perception of prejudice, the present research extends prior research in two important ways. First, although prior research has investigated motivational dynamics of prejudice perception among members of perpetrator groups, the focus of this research has typically been judgments of the extent to which members of perpetrator groups, themselves, are potential targets of prejudice (see Major et al., 2002; for an exception see Inman & Baron, 1996). In contrast, the present research extends the focus to judgments by members of perpetrator groups about the more typical case of prejudice directed toward stigmatized groups. Second, prior research has typically examined the relationship between prejudice perception and self-evaluation by manipulating the former and observing consequences for the latter (see Crocker, Voelkl, Testa, & Major, 1991). In contrast, the present research examines the reverse relationship by manipulating a self-evaluation process and then measuring the effect of this manipulation on perceptions of racism. By doing so, the present research permits a more direct, experimental test of the motivational antecedents that influence perception of racism against stigmatized target groups.