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Black people are convicted more for being black than for being poor: The role of social norms and cultural prejudice on biased racial judgments.


ABSTRACT: Black and poor people are more frequently convicted of committing crimes. However, the specific role played by skin color and social class in convicting a person has yet to be clarified. This article aims to elucidate this issue by proposing that belonging to a lower social class facilitates the conviction of black targets and that this phenomenon is because information about social class dissimulates racial bias. Study 1 (N = 160) demonstrated that information about belonging to the lower classes increases agreement with a criminal suspect being sentenced to prison only when described as being black. Furthermore, Studies 2 (N = 170) and 3 (N = 174) show that the anti-prejudice norm inhibits discrimination against the black target when participants were asked to express individual racial prejudice, but not when they expressed cultural racial prejudice. Finally, Study 4 (N = 134) demonstrated that lower-class black targets were discriminated against to a greater degree when participants expressed either individual or cultural prejudice and showed that this occurs when racial and class anti-prejudice norms are salient. The results suggest that social class negatively affects judgments of black targets because judgment based on lower class mitigates the racist motivation of discrimination.

SUBMITTER: de Lima TJS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6754140 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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