Suppression of Prejudicial Attitudes in the Presence of Outgroup Members
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Racial prejudices exist in today’s society on many levels, and some stereotypes are more openly expressed than others. Oftentimes a person’s willingness to express his or her opinions about a racially significant topic will depend on the situation. To test how much people might censor themselves when discussing racially charged court cases based on the audience they are addressing, the current study had 145 participants write essays about Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant to both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Psychology Association (APA). The results seem to indicate that people did not significantly suppress their opinions, operationalized as writing a shorter essay, based on the target audience. Other measures of implicit stereotypes were also assessed, which seem to indicate a connection between internal motivation and writing longer essays. Stereotypic explanatory bias, external motivation, social distance, symbolic racism, and IAT (Implicit Association Test) scores, however, did not predict essay length.