Nav: Home

Whites distrust biracial people when their racial presentation varies, rutgers study finds

May 15, 2018

Whites consider biracial people to be less trustworthy if they change their racial presentation depending on circumstances, Rutgers University-New Brunswick researchers find.

The study appears in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Rutgers social psychologists Analia Albuja and Diana Sanchez studied how white people perceive biracial people who identify as biracial but who sometimes "present" themselves as one race or the other in different situations.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, nine million people identified themselves as "multiracial" (chose more than one race), and 30 percent said they had, at some point, presented themselves as members of one race or another.

In a series of five studies, the researchers asked hundreds of white people to review blog posts purportedly written by people who identified as black and white or Asian and white. Some of the "bloggers" indicated that when applying for jobs or college admission or when filling out government forms, they sometimes presented themselves as biracial and sometimes as one race or the other.

The researchers coined a term for presenting oneself as a member of one race in some contexts and of another race in another context: contextual racial presentation, or CRP.

Sanchez and Albuja, the lead author and a psychology graduate student in the School of Graduate Studies, recruited several hundred white subjects to take part in the studies online. The researchers asked their subjects to fill out online questionnaires designed to elicit their impressions of the bloggers. How trustworthy were they? How likeable were they? Was their behavior - whether or not they presented themselves contextually - right or wrong?

The results showed that across the board - regardless of whether the "bloggers" presented themselves as white or members of a minority or whether they could benefit from their choice - white people perceived them as less trustworthy and likeable than biracial people who didn't present contextually. The white people were more likely than not to object to such presentation on moral grounds. However, when the bloggers didn't have a choice in the matter (some forms didn't have a category for bi-racial people), white people were more lenient.

Sanchez said she and Albuja chose white participants exclusively for the studies because they have a position of privilege in U.S. society and have more ability to set rules and norms for how people of different races are perceived.

Rutgers University

Related Behavior Articles:

Religious devotion as predictor of behavior
'Religious Devotion and Extrinsic Religiosity Affect In-group Altruism and Out-group Hostility Oppositely in Rural Jamaica,' suggests that a sincere belief in God -- religious devotion -- is unrelated to feelings of prejudice.
Brain stimulation influences honest behavior
Researchers at the University of Zurich have identified the brain mechanism that governs decisions between honesty and self-interest.
Brain pattern flexibility and behavior
The scientists analyzed an extensive data set of brain region connectivity from the NIH-funded Human Connectome Project (HCP) which is mapping neural connections in the brain and makes its data publicly available.
Butterflies: Agonistic display or courtship behavior?
A study shows that contests of butterflies occur only as erroneous courtships between sexually active males that are unable to distinguish the sex of the other butterflies.
Sedentary behavior associated with diabetic retinopathy
In a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology, Paul D.
Curiosity has the power to change behavior for the better
Curiosity could be an effective tool to entice people into making smarter and sometimes healthier decisions, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
Campgrounds alter jay behavior
Anyone who's gone camping has seen birds foraging for picnic crumbs, and according to new research in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, the availability of food in campgrounds significantly alters jays' behavior and may even change how they interact with other bird species.
A new tool for forecasting the behavior of the microbiome
A team of investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the University of Massachusetts have developed a suite of computer algorithms that can accurately predict the behavior of the microbiome -- the vast collection of microbes living on and inside the human body.
Is risk-taking behavior contagious?
Why do we sometimes decide to take risks and other times choose to play it safe?
Neural connectivity dictates altruistic behavior
A new study suggests that the specific alignment of neural networks in the brain dictates whether a person's altruism was motivated by selfish or altruistic behavior.

Related Behavior Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...