Reverse Deterrence in Racial Profiling: Increased Transgressions by the Non-Profiled Group

Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP09-003

26 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2009 Last revised: 2 Oct 2009

See all articles by Amy Hackney

Amy Hackney

Georgia Southern University

Jack Glaser

Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Date Written: September 25, 2009

Abstract

A controlled experiment tested the possibility that racial profiling – disproportionate scrutiny of minorities by sanctioned authorities – would have “reverse deterrent” effects on the illicit behavior of members of non-profiled groups (e.g., Whites). Research participants given a task involving extremely difficult anagrams were given the opportunity to cheat. White participants randomly assigned to a condition in which two Black confederates were obtrusively singled out for scrutiny by the study administrator cheated more than Whites in a White-profiling condition and a no-profiling control condition, and more than Black participants in all three conditions. Black participants cheated at comparable levels across the three experimental conditions. The effect of the profiling was therefore a net increase in cheating.

Suggested Citation

Hackney, Amy and Glaser, Jack, Reverse Deterrence in Racial Profiling: Increased Transgressions by the Non-Profiled Group (September 25, 2009). Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP09-003 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1478207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1478207

Amy Hackney

Georgia Southern University ( email )

P.O. Box 8151
Statesboro, GA 30460-8151
United States

Jack Glaser (Contact Author)

Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gspp.berkeley.edu/directories/faculty/jack-glaser

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