"A threat on the ground": The consequences of witnessing stereotype-confirming ingroup members in interracial interactions

Valerie Jones Taylor, Randi L. Garcia, J. Nicole Shelton, Caitlyn Yantis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: Three studies explored interpersonal consequences of engaging in interracial interactions after witnessing racial ingroup members' stereotypical behavior. Method: Study 1 used experiencesampling methodology to assess ethnic minority students' (n = 119) intergroup anxiety, metastereotypes, and anticipatory behaviors following one of three types of interpersonal interactions: (a) a White person and a racial ingroup member who had behaved stereotypically, (b) a White person and a nonstereotypical ingroup member, or (c) neither. Studies 2 (n = 273) and 3 (n = 379) experimentally examined whether witnessing an ingroup member's stereotypically negative behavior in interracial interactions, compared to stereotypically positive (Study 2) or nonstereotypically negative behavior (Study 3) differentially affected anxiety, metastereotypes, and anticipatory behaviors in interracial versus intraracial interactions among Black Americans. Results: In Study 1, minorities reported greater anxiety, metastereotypes, and motivation to disprove stereotypes, but less interest in future interracial contact, following interracial interactions involving stereotype-confirming ingroup members compared to other interactions. In Studies 2 and 3, adverse interaction consequences were most severe when ingroup behavior was both negative and stereotypical compared to neutral, stereotypically positive, and nonstereotypically negative ingroup behavior. Additionally, metastereotypes (and, to a lesser degree, anxiety) mediated individuals' motivation to disprove stereotypes and desire future interactions with White witnesses following stereotypically negative ingroup behavior in interracial (vs. intraracial) interactions. Conclusions: This research highlights the emotional, metaperceptual, and motivational outcomes following ingroup members' stereotypical behavior in intergroup contexts that extend beyond dyadic encounters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-333
Number of pages15
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Intergroup processes
  • Interracial interactions
  • Intraracial interactions
  • Stereotype-confirming behavior


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