What Lies Beneath? Minority Group Members’ Suspicion of Whites’ Egalitarian Motivation Predicts Responses to Whites’ Smiles

Authors: Sophie Trawalter, Jonathan W. Kunstman, Taylor Tuscherer, E. Paige Lloyd

Antiprejudice norms and attempts to conceal racial bias have made Whites’ positive treatment of racial minorities attributionally ambiguous. Although some minorities believe Whites’ positivity is genuine, others are suspicious of Whites’ motives and believe their kindness is primarily motivated by desires to avoid appearing prejudiced. 

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Racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations, and false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites

Authors: Sophie Trawalter, Kelly M. Hoffman, Jordan R. Axt, M. Norman Oliver

Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans. We examine whether this racial bias is related to false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites (e.g., “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s skin”).

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What Is Good Isn't Always Fair: On the Unintended Effects of Framing Diversity as Good

Authors: Sophie Trawalter, Sara Driskell, Martin Davidson

Many proponents of diversity stress that diversity is good—good for universities to further their educational missions and good for businesses, for hiring talent and generating financial returns to shareholders. In this work, we examined costs of framing diversity as good for organizations vs. fair; specifically, we examined whether framing diversity as good for organizations broadens people’s definitions of diversity and increases racial bias.

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Suspicion of White People’s Motives Relates to Relative Accuracy in Detecting External Motivation to Respond without Prejudice

Authors: Sophie Trawalter, Jennifer LaCosse, Taylor Tuscherer, Jonathan W. Kunstman, E. Ashby Plant, Brenda Major

As a result of prevalent pressure to inhibit prejudice, racial minorities may wonder whether White people’s nonprejudiced behavior is primarily motivated by personal commitments to egalitarianism (i.e., internal motivation) or superficial efforts to appear nonprejudiced (i.e., external motivation). The present work investigated whether minority group members chronically suspicious of White people’s motives (i.e., those who believe White people are more externally than internally motivated), are more accurate than those who are less suspicious in detecting the motives behind White individuals’ pleasant behavior toward minorities. 

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Racial Bias in Perceptions of Others’ Pain

Authors: Sophie Trawalter, Kelly M. Hoffman, Adam Waytz

The present work provides evidence that people assume a priori that Blacks feel less pain than do Whites. It also demonstrates that this bias is rooted in perceptions of status and the privilege (or hardship) status confers, not race per se. Archival data from the National Football League injury reports reveal that, relative to injured White players, injured Black players are deemed more likely to play in a subsequent game, possibly because people assume they feel less pain.

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