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
Lai, Calvin and Marini, Maddalena and Lehr, Steven and Cerruti, Carlo and Shin, Jiyun Elizabeth and Joy-Gaba, Jennifer and Ho, Arnold and Teachman, Bethany and Wojcik, Sean P. and Koleva, Spassena and Koleva, Spassena and Frazier, Rebecca S. and Heiphetz, Larisa and Chen, Eva and Turner, Rhiannon and Haidt, Jonathan and Kesebir, Selin and Hawkins, Carlee Beth and Schaefer, Hillary and Rubichi, Sandro and Sartori, Giuseppe and Dial, Christopher M. and Sriram, N. and Banaji, Mahzarin R. and Nosek, Brian A., Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: I. A Comparative Investigation of 17 Interventions (September 9, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2155175