The effects of prejudice level and social influence strategy on powerful people's responding to racial out-group members

Theresa K. Vescio, Sarah J. Gervais, Swen Heidenreich, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research tested the hypothesis that the responding of high, but not low, prejudice White Americans would vary as a function of manipulations of powerful people's attention to subordinate strengths that facilitate goal strivings versus weaknesses that block goals. To examine this possibility, White participants were assigned to leader roles and an interaction with a low power Black 'employee' was staged. Consistent with predictions, findings revealed that high prejudice White participants who were attentive to subordinate strengths and goal strivings versus subordinate weaknesses and blocked goals, evaluated and treated a Black employee more positively. The responding of low prejudice participants did not, however, vary as a function of attention to strengths and goal facilitation versus weaknesses and blocked goals. Findings suggest that stereotypes of the groups to which low power people belong influence powerful people's judgment and behavior when stereotypes are endorsed by powerful people and match powerful people's goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-450
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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