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The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?$
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Gregory Parks and Matthew Hughey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735204.001.0001

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Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress?

Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress?

(p.30) Chapter 2 Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress?
The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Leslie Ashburn-Nardo

Robert W. Livingston

Joshua Waytz

Oxford University Press

Given external pressures, people are sometimes unwilling to express their honest opinions about African Americans. Furthermore, because attitudes are often consciously inaccessible, people may also be unable to express their true racial feelings. Consequently, social scientists have looked for ways to assess racial attitudes and stereotypes that minimize both socially desirable responses and responses that rely on conscious access. Such measures are called implicit measures. This chapter provides an overview of implicit social cognitive methodology and reviews the growing literature on implicit racial bias. In particular, the chapter focuses on the predictive utility of implicit measures of racial bias, with an eye toward circumstances in which implicit bias is a better predictor than explicit, self-reported bias. The chapter concludes with a discussion of “racial progress” in America in light of findings regarding the role of implicit vs. explicit racial biases in behavior before and after the election of Barack Obama.

Keywords:   implicit bias, explicit bias, prejudice, stereotypes, racism

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