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Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion

Publication ,  Journal Article
Wallace, LE; Craig, MA; Wegener, DT
Published in: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
January 1, 2024

Stigmatized versus non-stigmatized people advocating on behalf of the stigmatized group are perceived as more biased, suggesting that they might be less effective advocates. Yet, research testing whether stigmatized or non-stigmatized advocates are more persuasive has yielded mixed results. The current work builds on previous research to clarify that this occurs because stigmatized advocates are also perceived as more expert on social justice issues. Six studies document these trade-offs in perceptions. Three studies demonstrate that stigmatized and non-stigmatized advocates seem not to differ in their effectiveness because while perceived expertise boosts the effectiveness of stigmatized advocates, perceived bias undermines it. This occurs both when people confront societal inequality and interpersonal prejudice. Despite the lack of difference in persuasiveness, people predict that the stigmatized advocate will be more effective, suggesting that observers may not recognize perceived bias's role in undermining effectiveness. The present findings differ not only from participants' lay theories, but also from conclusions commonly reached by reviews of the literature which suggest that stigmatized advocates may be less effective than their non-stigmatized counterparts. By examining a broader range of perceptions and effects on audience members' attitudes and intentions to behave consistently with advocacy, we provide a more complete view of these effects.

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Published In

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

DOI

EISSN

1096-0465

ISSN

0022-1031

Publication Date

January 1, 2024

Volume

110

Related Subject Headings

  • Social Psychology
  • 5205 Social and personality psychology
  • 1702 Cognitive Sciences
  • 1701 Psychology
 

Citation

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Wallace, L. E., Craig, M. A., & Wegener, D. T. (2024). Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104519
Wallace, L. E., M. A. Craig, and D. T. Wegener. “Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 110 (January 1, 2024). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104519.
Wallace LE, Craig MA, Wegener DT. Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2024 Jan 1;110.
Wallace, L. E., et al. “Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 110, Jan. 2024. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104519.
Wallace LE, Craig MA, Wegener DT. Biased, but expert: Trade-offs in how stigmatized versus non-stigmatized advocates are perceived and consequences for persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2024 Jan 1;110.
Journal cover image

Published In

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

DOI

EISSN

1096-0465

ISSN

0022-1031

Publication Date

January 1, 2024

Volume

110

Related Subject Headings

  • Social Psychology
  • 5205 Social and personality psychology
  • 1702 Cognitive Sciences
  • 1701 Psychology