Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: I. A Comparative Investigation of 17 Interventions
68 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2012 Last revised: 11 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 9, 2016
Many methods for reducing implicit prejudice have been identified, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. We held a research contest to experimentally compare interventions for reducing the expression of implicit racial prejudice. Teams submitted seventeen interventions that were tested an average of 3.70 times each in four studies (total N = 17,021), with rules for revising interventions between studies. Eight of seventeen interventions were effective at reducing implicit preferences for Whites compared to Blacks, particularly ones that provided experience with counterstereotypical exemplars, used evaluative conditioning methods, and provided strategies to override biases. The other nine interventions were ineffective, particularly ones that engaged participants with others’ perspectives, asked participants to consider egalitarian values, or induced a positive emotion. The most potent interventions were ones that invoked high self-involvement or linked Black people with positivity and White people with negativity. No intervention consistently reduced explicit racial preferences. Furthermore, intervention effectiveness only weakly extended to implicit preferences for Asians and Hispanics.
Keywords: attitudes, racial prejudice, implicit social cognition, malleability, Implicit Association Test, psychology, prejudice
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