Are Ideal Litigators White? Measuring the Myth of Colorblindness

37 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2009 Last revised: 30 Jun 2010

Jerry Kang

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Nilanjana Dasgupta

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Psychology

Kumar Yogeeswaran

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Gary Blasi

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

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Date Written: July 31, 2009

Abstract

This study examined whether explicit and implicit biases in favor of Whites and against Asian Americans would alter mock jurors' evaluation of a litigator's deposition. We found evidence of both explicit bias as measured by self-reports, and implicit bias as measured by two Implicit Association Tests. In particular, explicit stereotypes that the ideal litigator was White predicted worse evaluation of the Asian American litigator (outgroup derogation); by contrast, implicit stereotypes predicted preferential evaluation of the White litigator (ingroup favoritism). In sum, participants were not colorblind, at least implicitly, towards even a "model minority," and these biases produced racial discrimination. This study provides further evidence of the predictive and ecological validity of the Implicit Association Test.

Keywords: implicit bias, IAT, Asian Americans, implicit association test, predictive validity, lawyers, litigators, depositions, colorblindness, discrimination, jurors

Suggested Citation

Kang, Jerry and Dasgupta, Nilanjana and Yogeeswaran, Kumar and Blasi, Gary, Are Ideal Litigators White? Measuring the Myth of Colorblindness (July 31, 2009). UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 09-24; CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1442119 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1442119

Jerry Kang (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-206-7298 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)

Nilanjana Dasgupta

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Psychology ( email )

Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Kumar Yogeeswaran

University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Operations and Information Managemen
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Gary L. Blasi

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

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