We posit instructors' implicit racial bias as a factor in racial disparities in academic achievement and test the relationship between this factor, instructor lesson quality, and learners' subsequent test performance. In Study 1, white participants were assigned to the role of instructor and gave a short lesson to a learner who was either black or white. Instructors' implicit bias predicted diminished test performance on the part of black, but not white, learners. Further, instructors' anxiety and lesson quality, as rated by coders, mediated the relationship between their implicit bias and learners' test performance. In Study 2, a separate sample of non-black participants watched videos of instructors from cross-race lessons from the first experiment. Once again, instructors' implicit bias predicted diminished test performance by participants. These findings suggest that underperformance by minorities in academic domains may be driven by the effect implicit racial biases have on educators' pedagogical effectiveness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Educational disparities
- Implicit prejudice
- Intergroup interaction
- Nonverbal behavior