Jordan Axt And Trawalter's Study

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University of Virginia researchers, Jordan Axt and Sophie Trawalter conducted a study with the goal of examining the “attitudes and prejudice concerns on race-related behavior” (Axt, Trawalter, 2016. 8). Their findings and conclusions were published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology as “Whites demonstrate anti-Black associations but do not reinforce them”. Previous research has determined that, while Whites are more likely to associate Blacks with negative outcomes, Whites also attempt to appear egalitarian and unbiased. To expound upon this investigation, Axt and Trawalter designed an experiment that presented subjects with information that either aligned or contrasted with the commonly help stereotype associating black skin…show more content…
The majority of participants initially chose a white face. For the Black = Reward condition, participants who measured higher for explicit preference for Whites over Blacks were less likely to select images of Blacks towards the beginning of the experiment. However, they began to select the Blacks as the experiment progressed. If Black = Penalty, most participants correctly associated Blacks with negative outcomes. Yet, they were less likely to strengthen this belief, possibly because they did not want to appear as being prejudiced. Through an analogous test involving puppies and spiders instead of black and white faces, the scientists determined that participants were able to strengthen selections that corresponded to their initial disposition. For the final experiment, participants were informed that the black photographs were of immoral people and that the white photographs wee of moral people. Nevertheless, participants were still unable or unwilling to strengthen the association between Blacks and negative outcomes. Following the experiment, Axt and Trawalter wonder whether the participants’ unwillingness to strengthen racially intolerant viewpoint was due to conscious
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