Project Title

Political Identity, Racial Attitudes, and Physiological Fear of Outgroup Races

Presenters

Cymone ParkerFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Ebony Glover

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Previous research has shown that political orientation and race are associated with racist attitudes. White participants are more likely to have racist attitudes opposed to non-white participants. There is little research comparing how these factors relate to fear of racial out-groups. Our laboratory uses the fear-potentiated startle paradigm to measure a participants’ startle responses (physiological measure of fear) when they are shown either an in-group or out-group face. Participants were asked to report their political identity (7 -point Likert scale) ranging from strongly conservative to strongly liberal. White participants were given the Attitude Towards Blacks Scale and Black participants were given the Attitude Towards Whites Scale. It is hypothesized that participants who identify as more conservative or have more negative attitudes towards an outgroup race, will express greater fear of a racial out-group face compared to participants who identify as more liberal or have more positive attitudes towards out-groups. Correlations among political identity, racial attitudes, and startle to a racial outgroup face were assessed. The more conservative White participants reported more negative attitude towards Black people, r(35) = -.40, p = .01. Also, White participants who reported more negative attitudes towards Black people expressed greater startle responses to Black faces, r(12) = -.81, p < .001. Black participants who reported more negative attitudes towards White people also showed greater startle responses to White faces, r(6) = -.85, p < .01. These results underscore the relationship between racial attitudes and fear of out-group races.

Project Type

Event

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Political Identity, Racial Attitudes, and Physiological Fear of Outgroup Races

Previous research has shown that political orientation and race are associated with racist attitudes. White participants are more likely to have racist attitudes opposed to non-white participants. There is little research comparing how these factors relate to fear of racial out-groups. Our laboratory uses the fear-potentiated startle paradigm to measure a participants’ startle responses (physiological measure of fear) when they are shown either an in-group or out-group face. Participants were asked to report their political identity (7 -point Likert scale) ranging from strongly conservative to strongly liberal. White participants were given the Attitude Towards Blacks Scale and Black participants were given the Attitude Towards Whites Scale. It is hypothesized that participants who identify as more conservative or have more negative attitudes towards an outgroup race, will express greater fear of a racial out-group face compared to participants who identify as more liberal or have more positive attitudes towards out-groups. Correlations among political identity, racial attitudes, and startle to a racial outgroup face were assessed. The more conservative White participants reported more negative attitude towards Black people, r(35) = -.40, p = .01. Also, White participants who reported more negative attitudes towards Black people expressed greater startle responses to Black faces, r(12) = -.81, p < .001. Black participants who reported more negative attitudes towards White people also showed greater startle responses to White faces, r(6) = -.85, p < .01. These results underscore the relationship between racial attitudes and fear of out-group races.