Implicit and Explicit Bias against Hispanics among White Female College Students Assessed by Indirect and Direct Measures




March, David S.

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Systemic racial and ethnic biases continue to permeate the American social order, often manifesting without conscious awareness. Previous research examining implicit biases against Blacks using paradigms such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and startle eyeblink have found evidence of White bias towards Blacks, often in the absence of explicit biases. In the current study, we examined whether these findings are generalizable to bias against Hispanics. Twenty-seven White female participants (mean age = 21.5 years) completed an explicit measure of Hispanic bias, the IAT, and a computerized startle task. During the startle task, participants viewed color photo primes of White and Hispanic males (20 White and 20 Hispanic) while eyeblink electromyograph (EMG) data was recorded. On 20 trials (10 White and 10 Hispanic), the prime was accompanied by an auditory startle probe (50-msec 100db white noise). Analysis of the EMG data revealed larger eyeblink amplitudes during Hispanic primes than during white primes (F(1, 23) = 7.92, p = .01). IAT reaction times were also indicative of bias toward Hispanics (i.e., Hispanic + bad trials were significantly faster than Hispanic + good trials; (F(1, 23) = 56.85, p < .001)). Correlational analyses revealed no significant relationships between the three measures of bias, suggesting that each instrument may be tapping into different aspects of ethnic attitudes. This study extends prior startle research by demonstrating that the findings from previous Black/White startle studies are generalizable across race and ethnicity



Startle eyeblink, Implicit, Explicit, Hispanic bias, Implicit association test


March, D. S. (2012). <i>Implicit and explicit bias against Hispanics among white female college students assessed by indirect and direct measures</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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