Cognitive costs of exposure to racial prejudice

Jessica Salvatore, J. Nicole Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


This study examined how encountering racial prejudice affects cognitive functioning. We assessed performance on the Stroop task after subjects reviewed job files that suggested an evaluator had made nonprejudiced, ambiguously prejudiced, or blatantly prejudiced hiring recommendations. The cognitive impact of exposure to ambiguous versus blatant cues to prejudice depended on subjects' racial group. Black subjects experienced the greatest impairment when they saw ambiguous evidence of prejudice, whereas White subjects experienced the greatest impairment when they saw blatant evidence of prejudice. Given the often ambiguous nature of contemporary expressions of prejudice, these results have important implications for the performance of ethnic minorities across many domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-815
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive costs of exposure to racial prejudice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this