Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology
Can a race priming intervention improve evaluations of college scholarship applicants? Building on the work of Sanchez and Bonam (2009), the present study was designed to examine how evaluations of warmth, competence, and scholarship worthiness, change as a result of race priming and stereotype activation. The hypothesis was that race priming and stereotype activation would cause participants to consider how they may apply stereotypes in their judgments of candidates, resulting in a positive shift in their evaluations on dimensions of warmth, competence, and scholarship worthiness following a race priming intervention. Participants across three studies included 228 undergraduate students, and 24 graduate students from a university in the Northwest. Students were asked to evaluate prospective student applications for a substantial diversity scholarship to the university rating candidates on dimensions of warmth, competence, and scholarship worthiness. Participants were randomly assigned to read the scholarship application of a Biracial, White, Black, or undisclosed race candidate. Study 1 suggests that with race introduction (via priming and disclosure) participants rate candidates differently depending upon race, particularly with regard to diversity scholarship worthiness. Biracial candidates had the most positive change in ratings after priming intervention, which is contrary to previous research (Sanchez, & Bonam, 2009). Study 2 found that race impacted ratings of warmth, competence, and scholarship worthiness regardless of whether evaluation took place before or after the intervention. Study 3 compared graduate students to the undergraduate population in Study 2. This study revealed that before the intervention, Biracial individuals were rated the highest on warmth, and competence, with White candidates being least scholarship worthy. However, after the intervention was presented, there was a drop in ratings for Black and Biracial candidates, resulting in Biracial candidates being considered least warm, and competent of all the race disclosure groups. Comparison between studies indicate a difference in how graduate students responded to the intervention and their post intervention candidate ratings, relative to undergraduates. Results of these studies are discussed considering essentialism (Young, Sanchez, & Wilton, 2013), cohort effects, job and college applications, and stereotype content model (Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2007).
Nelson, Amber L., "Activating Race: Race Priming in an Undergraduate Population" (2015). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). 188.