Social Justice Research

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 25–46 | Cite as

The Aversive Racism Paradigm and Responses Favoring African Americans: Meta-Analytic Evidence of Two Types of Favoritism



This research examined conditions promoting favoritism for White targets and conditions promoting favoritism for African American (AA) targets. We extended research on the aversive racism paradigm through examination of reactions to AAs and Whites when normative behaviors or expressions of attitude clearly favored egalitarian responses and when evaluative criteria were ambiguous. We conducted a meta-analysis of 31 studies including more than 5000 participants. When norms were ambiguous, AA targets received worse treatment than Whites, supporting the presence of aversive racism. AA targets were treated even more positively than Whites when norms clearly favored positive reactions to all targets. We discuss results in terms of the aversive bias perspective, motivations to appear nonprejudiced, the flexible correction model, self-categorization theory, and shifting standards.

meta-analysis prejudice African American-favoring responses aversive racism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHumboldt State UniversityArcata
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWestern Washington UniversityUSA

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