Does seeing a scowling face change your impression of the next person you see? Does this depend on the race of the two people? Across four studies, White participants evaluated neutrally expressive White males as less threatening when they followed angry (relative to neutral) White faces; Black males were not judged as less threatening following angry Black faces. This lack of threat-anchored contrast for Black male faces is not attributable to a general tendency for White targets to homogenize Black males-neutral Black targets following smiling Black faces were contrasted away from them and seen as less friendly-and emerged only for perceivers low in motivation to respond without prejudice (i.e., for those relatively comfortable responding prejudicially). This research provides novel evidence for the overperception of threat in Black males.
- Internal motivation to respond without prejudice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology