Modern racism attitudes among white students: The role of dominance and authoritarianism and the mediating effects of racial color-blindness

V. Paul Poteat, Lisa B. Spanierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Among 342 white college students, we examined the effects of social dominance orientation (SDO), right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and racial color-blindness on modern racism attitudes. Structural equation modeling was used to test the indirect effects of SDO and RWA on modern racism attitudes through color-blind racial attitudes. We found strong indirect effects of SDO and RWA on modern racism through racial color-blindness. We did not find support for an alternative model, in which we tested racial color-blindness as a moderator of the effects of SDO and RWA on modern racism. Findings suggest that highly dominant and authoritarian white students endorse color-blind racial attitudes, although likely for different reasons. In turn, this predicts their modern racism attitudes. These findings indicate racial color-blindness is important to address as part of anti-racism education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)758-774
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • color-blind racial attitudes
  • prejudice
  • racism
  • right-wing authoritarianism
  • social dominance orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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