Racial Bias in Perceptions of Size and Strength

The Impact of Stereotypes and Group Differences

David J. Johnson, John Paul Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recent research has shown that race can influence perceptions of men’s size and strength. Across two studies (Study 1: N = 1,032, Study 2: N = 303) examining men and women from multiple racial groups (Asian, Black, and White adults), we found that although race does impact judgments of size and strength, raters’ judgments primarily track targets’ objective physical features. In some cases, racial stereotypes actually improved group-level accuracy, as these stereotypes aligned with racial-group differences in size and strength according to nationally representative data. We conclude that individuals primarily rely on individuating information when making physical judgments but do not completely discount racial stereotypes, which reflect a combination of real group-level differences and culturally transmitted beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-562
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Science
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019

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Size Perception
Racism
Research

Keywords

  • open data
  • person perception
  • preregistration
  • race bias
  • stereotype accuracy

Cite this

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Racial Bias in Perceptions of Size and Strength : The Impact of Stereotypes and Group Differences. / Johnson, David J.; Wilson, John Paul.

In: Psychological Science, Vol. 30, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 553-562.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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