- Subliminal exposure to faces and racial attitudes
- Exposure to whites makes whites like blacks less
- Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 44 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Despite recent social and political advances, most interracial contact is still superficial in nature, and White individuals interact mainly with other Whites. Based on recent mere exposure research, we propose that repeated exposure to Whites may actually increase prejudice. In a series of experiments, White participants were subliminally exposed to White faces or nothing (control) and then completed various explicit and implicit measures of racial attitudes. Exposure to White faces consistently led to more prejudice by making attitudes toward Blacks more negative, rather than by making attitudes toward Whites more positive. A final experiment demonstrated that the pattern of increased prejudice following exposure to Whites was moderated by the strength of participants’ attitudes toward Whites. Only when White attitudes were strong did Black attitudes became more negative after exposure to White faces.
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