Major

Psychology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Confronting bias can reduce prejudice (Czopp et al., 2006). But people hesitate to confront because they fear backlash (Swim & Hyers, 1999). Previously, we found that being confronted by a friend for anti-Black racism lessened perpetrators’ feelings of essentialism and reduced backlash toward the confronter. We hypothesized that trust and essentialism mediate the association between the perpetrator’s relationship with the confronter and backlash. 437 white participants experienced a 2(Relationship: Friend, Stranger) x2 (Confrontation: Racist, Rude) between-subjects design. When confronted for racism, trusting the confronter and feeling less essentialized by them decreased backlash for confronters who were friends (v. strangers).

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Jamie Patrianakos, M.A; Robyn Mallett, Ph.D

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Backlash following a confrontation: The impact of relationship, essentialism, and trust

Confronting bias can reduce prejudice (Czopp et al., 2006). But people hesitate to confront because they fear backlash (Swim & Hyers, 1999). Previously, we found that being confronted by a friend for anti-Black racism lessened perpetrators’ feelings of essentialism and reduced backlash toward the confronter. We hypothesized that trust and essentialism mediate the association between the perpetrator’s relationship with the confronter and backlash. 437 white participants experienced a 2(Relationship: Friend, Stranger) x2 (Confrontation: Racist, Rude) between-subjects design. When confronted for racism, trusting the confronter and feeling less essentialized by them decreased backlash for confronters who were friends (v. strangers).