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Social Justice Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 263–296 | Cite as

Legitimating Racial Discrimination: Emotions, Not Beliefs, Best Predict Discrimination in a Meta-Analysis

  • Cara A. Talaska
  • Susan T. Fiske
  • Shelly Chaiken
Article

Abstract

Investigations of racial bias have emphasized stereotypes and other beliefs as central explanatory mechanisms and as legitimating discrimination. In recent theory and research, emotional prejudices have emerged as another, more direct predictor of discrimination. A new comprehensive meta-analysis of 57 racial attitude-discrimination studies finds a moderate relationship between overall attitudes and discrimination. Emotional prejudices are twices as closely related to racial discrimination as stereotypes and beliefs are. Moreover, emotional prejudices are closely related to both observed and self-reported discrimination, whereas stereotypes and beliefs are related only to self-reported discrimination. Implications for justifying discrimination are discussed.

Keywords

Prejudice Discrimination Race Attitude Affect Emotion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cara A. Talaska
    • 1
  • Susan T. Fiske
    • 2
  • Shelly Chaiken
    • 3
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.BerkeleyUSA

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