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Reading: Self-Reports of Racist Attitudes for Oneself and for Others


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Research Article

Self-Reports of Racist Attitudes for Oneself and for Others


Donald A. Saucier

Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 204 Kastle Hall, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506-0044, US
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Individuals are often motivated to avoid appearing prejudiced. In this study, it was hypothesized that participants would indicate that other people would be more likely than themselves to agree with racist arguments. Participants read a series of positive and negative arguments about African Americans and rated the extent to which they agreed with the arguments and how convincing they found the arguments to be. Participants also rated how much the “average person” would agree with and be convinced by the arguments. The hypotheses were supported. Participants overwhelmingly reported that, compared to themselves, the “average person” would agree more with and be convinced more by the racist arguments. These results suggest that individuals may justify their own prejudice by believing that other people are more prejudiced, allowing the individuals to maintain nonprejudiced self-concepts despite their own racist attitudes.

How to Cite: Saucier, D.A., 2002. Self-Reports of Racist Attitudes for Oneself and for Others. Psychologica Belgica, 42(1-2), pp.99–105. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2002.
Peer Reviewed


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