To be liked versus respected: Divergent goals in interracial interactions

Hilary B. Bergsieker, J. Nicole Shelton, Jennifer A. Richeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pervasive representations of Blacks and Latinos as unintelligent and of Whites as racist may give rise to divergent impression management goals in interracial interactions. We present studies showing that in interracial interactions racial minorities seek to be respected and seen as competent more than Whites do, whereas Whites seek to be liked and seen as moral more than racial minorities do. These divergent impression management goals are reflected in Whites' and racial minorities' self-report responses (Studies 1a, 1b, 2, and 4) and behaviors (Studies 3a and 3b). Divergent goals are observed in pre-existing relationships (Study 2), as well as in live interactions (Studies 3a, 3b, and 4), and are associated with higher levels of negative other-directed affect (Study 4). Implications of these goals for interracial communication and misunderstandings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-264
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Impression management
  • Intergroup contact
  • Interracial interactions
  • Nonverbal behavior
  • Self-presentation

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