Taking a look underground: Detecting, interpreting, and reacting to implicit racial biases


Journal Article

Participants were given the opportunity to gain insight into their implicit racial biases by completing the Implicit Association Test (IAT, Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998). We examined participants' detection of their implicit racial biases, and their interpretation of and reactions to such biases. Further, we examined the potential moderating role of proneness to prejudice-related discrepancies. Results revealed strong implicit racial biases that were moderately related to explicit prejudice but unrelated to proneness to discrepancies. The majority of participants detected this bias, and they felt guilty about it to the extent that they attributed the bias to race-related factors. Participants with smaller discrepancies were more prone to misattribute their IAT bias to nonracial factors and not feeling guilty. These latter findings suggest that people who typically experience success at avoiding prejudiced responses might, paradoxically, be least likely to detect subtle racial biases when they do occur.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Monteith, MJ; Voils, CI; Ashburn-Nardo, L

Published Date

  • August 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 395 - 417

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0278-016X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1521/soco.19.4.395.20759

Citation Source

  • Scopus