Implicit and Explicit Racial Attitudes Changed During Black Lives Matter

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Sawyer, Jeremy ; Gampa, Anup (2018)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/29J7Y
  • Subject: bepress|Social and Behavioral Sciences|Psychology | bepress|Social and Behavioral Sciences | bepress|Social and Behavioral Sciences|Psychology|Social Psychology
    mesheuropmc: congenital, hereditary, and neonatal diseases and abnormalities | urogenital system | nutritional and metabolic diseases

Lab-based interventions have been ineffective in changing individuals’ implicit racial attitudes for more than brief durations, and exposure to high-status Black exemplars like Obama has proven ineffective in shifting societal-level racial attitudes. Anti-racist social movements, however, offer a potential societal-level alternative for reducing racial bias. Racial attitudes were examined before and during Black Lives Matter (BLM) and its high points of struggle with 1,369,204 participants from 2009 to 2016. After controlling for changes in participant demographics, overall implicit attitudes were less pro-White during BLM than pre-BLM, became increasingly less pro-White across BLM, and were less pro-White during most periods of high BLM struggle. Considering changes in implicit attitudes by participant race, Whites became less implicitly pro-White during BLM while Blacks showed little change. Regarding explicit attitudes, Whites became less pro-White and Blacks became less pro-Black during BLM, each moving toward an egalitarian “no preference” position.
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