How do targets of stigma manage social interactions? We built from a threat-specific model of prejudice to predict that targets select impression-management strategies that address the particular threats other people see them to pose. We recruited participants from two groups perceived to pose different threats: overweight people, who are heuristically associated with disease and targeted with disgust, and Black men, who are perceived to be dangerous and targeted with fear. When stereotypes and prejudices toward their groups were made salient, overweight people (Studies 1 and 2) and Black men (Study 2) selectively prioritized self-presentation strategies to minimize apparent disease threat (wearing clean clothes) or physical-violence threat (smiling), respectively. The specific threat a group is seen to pose plays an important but underexamined role in the psychology of being a target of prejudice.
- minority groups
- racial and ethnic attitudes and relations
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