Perceived Racism and Affective Responses to Ambiguous Interpersonal Interactions among African American Men


Journal Article

The current study examined affective responses to ambiguous interpersonal interactions containing both ambiguous and overtly racist content. Participants included 74 African American males (ages 18-47), half of whom heard a depiction of a negative social interaction with blatantly racist content (BRC). The remaining participants heard a similar scenario containing no racist content (NRC). Negative affect scores were higher for those in the BRC group, yet individuals in the ambiguous (NRC) condition who reported perceptions of racism in the scenario showed greater negative affect reactivity than those who saw no racism in the scenario. Among those in the NRC group, self-reported past experiences with racial discrimination moderated the effect of perceived racism on negative affect. The authors conclude that the perception of racial discrimination, in particular when evaluating ambiguous situations, may have profound affective consequences for Black men.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bennett, GG; Merritt, MM; Edwards, CL; Sollers, JJ

Published Date

  • March 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 963 - 976

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-7642

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0002764203261070

Citation Source

  • Scopus