"White men can't jump": Evidence for the perceptual confirmation of racial stereotypes following a basketball game

Jeff Stone, Zachary W. Perry, John M. Darley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to demonstrate the perceptual confirmation of racial stereotypes about Black and White athletes. In a 2 × 2 design, target race (Black vs. White) and target athleticism (perceived athletic vs. unathletic) were manipulated by providing participants with a photograph of a male basketball player. Participants then listened to a college basketball game and were asked to evaluate the target's athletic abilities, individual performance, and contribution to his team's performance. Multivariate analyses showed only a main effect for target race on the measures of ability and team performance. Whereas the Black targets were rated as exhibiting significantly more athletic ability and having played a better game, White targets were rated as exhibiting significantly more basketball intelligence and hustle. The results suggest that participants relied on a stereotype of Black and White athletes to guide their evaluations of the target's abilities and performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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