Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
Two studies investigate the relationship between racial attitude (dis)similarity and interpersonal liking for racial minorities and Whites in same-race and cross-race pairs. In nationally representative and local samples, minorities report personally caring about racial issues more than Whites do (Pilot Study), which we theorize makes racial attitude divergence with ingroup members especially disruptive. Both established friendships (Study 1) and face-to-face interactions among strangers (Study 2) provided evidence for the dissimilarity-repulsion hypothesis in same-race interactions for minorities but not Whites. For minorities, disagreeing with a minority partner or friend about racial attitudes decreased their positivity toward that person. Because minorities typically report caring about race more than Whites, same-race friendships involving shared racial attitudes may be particularly critical sources of social support for them, particularly in predominately White contexts. Understanding challenges that arise in same-race interactions, not just cross-race interactions, can help create environments in which same-race minority friendships flourish.
intergroup relations, interpersonal interactions, racial attitudes, racial minorities
Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy
Garcia, Randi L.; Bergsieker, Hilary B.; and Shelton, J. Nicole, "Racial Attitude (Dis)Similarity and Liking in Same-Race Minority Interactions" (2015). Psychology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.