African Americans' implicit racial attitudes and the depletion of executive function after interracial interactions

Jennifer A. Richeson, Sophie Trawalter, J. Nicole Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous work has found that white individuals who harbor negative racial attitudes toward blacks are particularly likely to be depleted of executive attentional resources after interracial contact. The present study investigated whether engaging in interracial interactions also depletes the executive resources of black individuals as a function of their racial attitudes toward whites. Black participants completed an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes, engaged in either an interracial or same-race interaction, and then completed an inhibitory response task to assess executive functioning. Similar to previous research, results revealed that blacks' racial attitudes predicted the extent to which they were impaired on the inhibitory response task after an interracial, but not after a same-race, interaction. Specifically, the more ingroup favoritism individuals revealed on the attitude measure, the more depleted of attentional resources they were after the interracial interaction. Taken together, these results suggest that interracial interactions can be cognitively costly for members of both racial majority and minority groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-352
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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