White and Black American children's implicit intergroup bias

Anna Kaisa Newheiser, Kristina R. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Despite a decline in explicit prejudice, adults and children from majority groups (e.g., White Americans) often express bias implicitly, as assessed by the Implicit Association Test. In contrast, minority-group (e.g., Black American) adults on average show no bias on the IAT. In the present research, representing the first empirical investigation of whether Black children's IAT performance parallels that of Black adults, we examined implicit bias in 7-11-year-old White and Black American children. Replicating previous findings with adults, whereas White children showed a robust ingroup bias, Black children showed no bias. Additionally, we investigated the role of valuing status in the development of implicit bias. For Black children, explicit preference for high status predicted implicit outgroup bias: Black children who explicitly expressed high preference for rich (vs. poor) people showed an implicit preference for Whites comparable in magnitude to White children's ingroup bias. Implications for research on intergroup bias are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Development
  • Implicit Association Test
  • Intergroup bias
  • Social status


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