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Olivier Paquin, Daniel Fiset, Geneviève Forest, Mélina Jalbert, Caroline Blais; Impact of Prejudice on Ethnic Ingroup and Outgroup Mental Representations. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):1278. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.1278.
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Dotsch et al. (2008) have shown that ethnic outgroup faces are perceived as less trustworthy and more criminal looking in the prejudiced mind. Since prejudice also involves favoritism towards the ingroup (Brewers, 1999), we hypothesized that not only the mental representations of outgroup faces are negatively biased in prejudiced individuals but also that their mental representations of ingroup individuals are positively biased. To reveal the prototypical representation of African-American (AA) and Caucasian (Ca) faces, we used Reverse Correlation (Mangini & Bierderman, 2004). On each trial, two stimuli (base face + and visual noise) were presented simultaneously on the screen, and the participant had to decide which one of the two was most typical of each ethnic group (i.e. AA or Ca). Thirty-seven participants underwent 500 trials for both ethnic representations, and completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to determine their level of prejudice against AA. Classification images (CI) representing prototypical AA or Ca faces were computed separately for each participant by averaging the noise patterns of the stimuli selected as most representative. Subsequently, twenty independent participants judged the level of trustworthiness, criminality, and successfulness displayed by the CI. For each judge and for each social judgment, a linear regression was performed on the IAT scores and the judges ratings of the CI. Subsequent t-tests on the regression coefficients showed that the more prejudiced a participant was, the less trustworthy [t(19)=4.44, p<.001] and potentially successful [t(19)=4.74, p<.001], and the more criminal looking [t(19)=-2.38, p<.05] their mental representations of AA were judged. Interestingly, the more prejudiced a participant was, the more trustworthy [t(19)=-4.02, p<.001] and potentially successful [t(19)=-4.17, p<.001] their representation of a Ca was judged. These results show that prejudice does not only bias the representation of the ethnic outgroup faces, but also those of the ingroup faces.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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