Race: True Feelings May Not Be Apparent

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 11 (UPI) — There are differences in Afrcian-Americans’ outwardly expressed feelings about race and their internal, non-consious feelings, a U.S. researcher suggests.

Leslie Ashburn-Nardo of Indiana University-Purdue University finds African-Americans consciously identify and favor their own race at a rate much higher than whites, but when tested on non-conscious feelings, African-Americans favored their race less strongly.


The researcher says the distinction between explicit and implicit feelings can be illustrated with the example of a person with high-blood pressure responding to “How do you feel?” by saying, “I’m OK.”

“You’re not necessarily lying when you say ‘I’m OK,’” Ashubrn-Nardo says in a statement. “It’s more likely that you just may not realize how stress is affecting you.”

The study, published in the Journal of Social Issues, suggests people may suffer more from experiences with prejudice than they are able to report.

“For more than half a century social psychologists have asked members of stigmatized groups how they feel about themselves and about the group to which they belong,” Ashburn-Nardo says. “But they have only been learning part of the story — the perceptions individuals realize they have, not the ones they may have internalized over a long period of time.”

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