Bitter Reproach or Sweet Revenge: Cultural Differences in Response to Racism

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Abstract

Culture has been shown to influence response styles. The authors conducted two studies to test the notion that African Americans would be more likely to respond to racism directly, whereas Asian Americans would be more likely to respond indirectly and therefore more subtly. Study 1 showed that Black women subjected to a racist comment from a confederate during an online interaction were more likely than Asian women to verbally reproach the perpetrator. These group differences were not present when the outcome measure was indirect responding-administration of good/bad jellybeans. Study 2 used an online format to demonstrate that Asian women were more likely than Black women to say they would not respond directly to a racist comment. This group difference in unwillingness to confront was significantly mediated by a goal of maintaining peace with their interaction partner. Implications of these findings for the study of discrimination, coping, and well-being are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-932
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume38
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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