Personality Correlates of Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Towards Interracial Attraction
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Although interracial dating and marriage is increasing in the United States, it has not yet reached normalcy. People’s automatic and controlled responses to interracial couples may differ from their responses to same race couples. This study examined attitudes toward interracial couples versus same race couples using implicit and explicit measures. Participants completed an online survey before coming to a research lab for further testing. The online survey included a newly developed self-report measure of interracial attitudes, and widely used measures of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO), bicultural identity integration (BII), internal motivation to respond without prejudice toward Asians, and impression management (IM, BIDR). In the lab session, participants completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) adapted to assess attitudes toward interracial relative to same-race couples. Heart rate (HR) was also recorded, using a Biopac M30 system, as participants viewed photos of same-race or interracial couples. All self-report measures were internally consistent. A principal components analysis with oblique rotation revealed Social Approval and Interracial Attraction were two factors of the interracial attitudes scale. Correlation analyses reveal that implicit and explicit attitudes correspond with one another. Both correlated negatively with RWA and SDO. Additionally, we found demographics such as socioeconomic status and political ideology may predict attitudes towards interracial couples. Regression analyses show socioeconomic status, SDO and RWA uniquely predict implicit and explicit interracial attraction. We found that RWA mediated the relationship between SDO and factors of interracial attraction. These results indicate that there are still racist influences in society factors of interracial couples were associated with political ideology, gender, SDO, RWA, and religiosity.