Causes and consequences of perceiving bias against high-status groups


Clara Wilkins

(Wesleyan University)

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Date: January25, 2017


Historically high-status groups were seen as perpetrators and low status groups as victims of bias, but perceptions of this relationship have shifted. Whites and men increasingly see their groups as victims of discrimination. I will discuss both the causes of this shift and the consequences for intergroup relations. I demonstrate that changes to the status hierarchy make some high-status individuals particularly inclined to perceive bias against their group. I highlight how Whites who endorse the racial status hierarchy perceive more anti-White bias in response to perceiving racial progress. I also show that increasing perceptions of bias against high-status groups lead to attitudes and behaviors that ultimately perpetuate social disparities. For example, men who are motivated to maintain men’s advantage relative to women discriminate against women. I discuss the implications of this research for the current political climate and draw parallels between my experimental studies and Trump’s election.

Created: Thursday, January 26th, 2017