Fear, Institutionalized Racism, and Empathy: The Underlying Dimensions of Whites' Racial Attitudes

Christopher D. Desante, Candis Watts Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

For nearly 75 years, scholars of American public opinion have sought to measure whites' attitudes toward blacks: social scientists have invented and revised ways to measure what we could refer to as "racial prejudice." With each revision, scholars who believe they have captured new forms of racial animus are met with opposition from those who believe that old-fashioned anti-black affect is a thing of the past. We directly answer these claims by collecting a surfeit of attitudinal measures to simultaneously estimate the relationship between cognitive beliefs about the racial status quo and emotional reactions to racism. First, we uncover that two higher-order dimensions undergird whites' racial attitudes. Second, we validate a four-item version of our new battery using the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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