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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Lehman, Barbara J., 1943-
Research suggests that during interracial interactions, it is effective for both people to foster commonalities in order to form positive impressions of one another. However, when the topic of race and race-related issues are brought up in a cross-group setting, research indicates that Whites who have a strong desire to appear non-biased and non-prejudiced to others tend to avoid mentioning race. Other research suggests that when interacting with a Black individual, Whites may claim to understand the Black person’s racial experiences (thus attempting to establish similarities) in order to demonstrate that they are non-prejudiced. This study examines how Whites’ concern with being perceived as prejudiced affects how they interact, and are perceived by, a person of color. Participants interacted with a confederate (Black or White) for a student interest survey, and were instructed to report their opinions regarding both race-neutral and racially-based statements. Confederates provided scripted responses demonstrating their opinion on diversity (pro-diversity or anti-diversity). Whites consistently reported pro-diversity attitudes regardless of their interaction partner’s opinion on diversity. Furthermore, Whites reported more pro-diversity opinions when their interaction partner was Black, compared to White. Implications for interpersonal approaches to intergroup relations are discussed.
Western Washington University
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Stafford, Emily R., "Let Me Show You I’m Not Biased! Demonstrating Non-Prejudiced Opinions while Navigating the Topic of Race" (2017). WWU Masters Thesis Collection. 587.