Brief report: Thin slices of racial bias

Jennifer A. Richeson, J. Nicole Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The present work examined the detection of racial bias through thin slices of nonverbal behavior. Thirty Black and 30 White American judges rated the nonverbal behavior displayed by White individuals from 20-seconds of silent videotape of an interaction with either a Black or a White confederate. Correlations between judges' nonverbal ratings and targets' scores on a response latency measure of racial bias (i.e., Implicit Association Test, IAT) as well as on a self-report racial bias measure (i.e., Affective Prejudice Scale) were obtained. Results revealed that relative to White judges, Black judges' nonverbal behavioral ratings were better predictors of both White individuals' IAT and explicit racial bias scores, but only if those targets were engaged in an interracial dyad. The results are consistent with recent research finding that subtle forms of racial bias leak through nonverbal behavior, as well as with work noting the predictive accuracy of judgments made from thin-slices of nonverbal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


  • Implicit association test
  • Judgmental accuracy
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Racial bias
  • Thin slices


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