The Threat of Appearing Prejudiced and Race-Based Attentional Biases

  title={The Threat of Appearing Prejudiced and Race-Based Attentional Biases},
  author={Jennifer A Richeson and Sophie Trawalter},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={102 - 98}
The current work tested whether external motivation to respond without prejudice toward Blacks is associated with biased patterns of selective attention that reflect a threat response to Black individuals. In a dot-probe attentional bias paradigm, White participants with low and high external motivation to respond without prejudice toward Blacks (i.e., low-EM and high-EM individuals, respectively) were presented with pairs of White and Black male faces that bore either neutral or happy facial… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Attending to Threat: Race-based Patterns of Selective Attention.
Prejudice Concerns and Race-Based Attentional Bias
The present study used eyetracking methodology to assess whether individuals high in external motivation (EM) to appear nonprejudiced exhibit an early bias in visual attention toward Black faces
External motivation to avoid prejudice alters neural responses to targets varying in race and status
It is suggested that EMS may attenuate the positive value and/or salience of high status in a mixed-race context.
Attentional Bias for Threat in Intergroup Anxiety
Threatening faces draw our attention with particular speed, a phenomenon commonly documented using behavioral measures such as the facial dot probe task. However, other aspects of the face that such
Following in the Wake of Anger: When Not Discriminating Is Discriminating
This research provides novel evidence for the overperception of threat in Black males and emerges only for perceivers low in motivation to respond without prejudice.
Looking at others through implicitly or explicitly prejudiced eyes
It is well known that we utilize internalized representations (or schemas) to direct our eyes when exploring visual stimuli. Interestingly, our schemas for human faces are known to reflect systematic
Non-Threatening Other-Race Faces Capture Visual Attention: Evidence from a Dot-Probe Task
Using a new dot-probe paradigm that can distinguish attentional capture and hold effects, it is found that other-race faces selectively captured visual attention in the absence of perceived threat.
The role of expression and race in weapons identification.
It is demonstrated that an individual can activate different associations based on changes in emotional expression and that a feature present in many everyday encounters (a smile) attenuates implicit racial stereotyping.
Implicit and explicit emotional reactions to witnessing prejudice
The present study examined how individual differences in motivation to respond without prejudice predict self-reported negative affect and physiological responses to the prejudicial acts of others.
To Approach or to Avoid: The Role of Ambivalent Motivation in Attentional Biases to Threat and Spider Fear
Background People with anxiety difficulties show different patterns in their deployment of attention to threat compared to people without anxiety difficulties. These attentional biases are assumed to


Attentional bias to angry faces using the dot-probe task? It depends when you look for it.
Attentional bias for threat: Evidence for delayed disengagement from emotional faces
Three new experiments suggesting that the valence of a face cue can influence attentional effects in a cueing paradigm suggest attentional bias in anxiety may reflect a difficulty in disengaging from threat-related and emotional stimuli, and threat- related and ambiguous cues can influence the magnitude of the IOR effect.
Facing Prejudice
European Americans high in implicit racial prejudice are biased to perceive threatening affect in Black but not White faces, suggesting that the deleterious effects of stereotypes may take hold extremely early in social interaction.
Attentional bias in emotional disorders.
Recent research has suggested that anxiety may be associated with processing biases that favor the encoding of emotionally threatening information. However, the available data can be accommodated by
Contingent Negative Variation to Emotional In- and Out-Group Stimuli Differentiates High- and Low-Prejudiced Individuals
Low- and high-prejudiced individuals exhibited differential cortical and behavioral responses to the pending and actual evaluation of emotional in- and out-group faces, and underscore both the importance of emotional expression on how a target is appraised and also the utility of using converging measures to clarify processes that may contribute to social behavior.
The regulation of explicit and implicit race bias: the role of motivations to respond without prejudice.
High internal, low external participants exhibited lower levels of implicit race bias than did all other participants, and implications for the development of effective self-regulation of race bias are discussed.
Individual differences in the activation and control of affective race bias as assessed by startle eyeblink response and self-report.
Results demonstrate individual differences in implicit affective race bias and suggest that controlled, belief-based processes are more effectively implemented in deliberative responses (e.g., self-reports).
Internal and external motivation to respond without prejudice
Empirical evidence is presented from 7 samples regarding the factor structure; reliability; and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of separate measures of internal and external
Individual differences in the regulation of intergroup bias: the role of conflict monitoring and neural signals for control.
Results indicate that conflict monitoring, a preconscious component of response control, accounts for variability in intergroup bias among low-prejudice participants.
Two studies investigated emotion-related biases in selective attention for pictorial stimuli in nonclinical subjects; the stimuli included threatening, happy and neutral facial expressions. The