Further progress in understanding the effects of derogatory ethnic labels: The role of preexisting attitudes toward the targeted group

Linda Simon, Jeff Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

To assess the impact of derogatory ethnic labels (DELs) on evaluations of both the target of the DEL and the person making the comment, White subjects who had pro-Black, anti-Black, or ambivalent attitudes were randomly assigned to read a DEL, an ethnic criticism, or no remark at all. Subsequent evaluations of the maker and the target of the comment were assessed, as well as subjects' affective reactions to reading the comment. In response to reading a DEL, all subjects derogated the person who made the comment. Anti-Black subjects rated the Black target more negatively on positive traits, pro-Black subjects did not alter their ratings of the target, and ambivalent subjects compensated by rating the target more favorably following the DEL. Affectively, ambivalent subjects generally reported more guilt and hostility than other subjects, and reading the DEL or the ethnic criticism led to more hostility than reading no comment at all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1204
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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