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Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology


Objectives: Three studies explored interpersonal consequences of engaging in interracial interactions after witnessing racial ingroup members’ stereotypical behavior.

Method: Study 1 used experience-sampling methodology to assess ethnic minority students’ (n = 119) intergroup anxiety, metastereotypes, and anticipatory behaviors following one of three types of interpersonal interactions: (a) a White person and a racial ingroup member who had behaved stereotypically, (b) a White person and a nonstereotypical ingroup member, or (c) neither. Studies 2 (n = 273) and 3 (n = 379) experimentally examined whether witnessing an ingroup member’s stereotypically negative behavior in interracial interactions, compared to stereotypically positive (Study 2) or nonstereotypically negative behavior (Study 3) differentially affected anxiety, metastereotypes, and anticipatory behaviors in interracial versus intraracial interactions among Black Americans.

Results: In Study 1, minorities reported greater anxiety, metastereotypes, and motivation to disprove stereotypes, but less interest in future interracial contact, following interracial interactions involving stereotype-confirming ingroup members compared to other interactions. In Studies 2 and 3, adverse interaction consequences were most severe when ingroup behavior was both negative and stereotypical compared to neutral, stereotypically positive, and nonstereotypically negative ingroup behavior. Additionally, metastereotypes (and, to a lesser degree, anxiety) mediated individuals’ motivation to disprove stereotypes and desire future interactions with White witnesses following stereotypically negative ingroup behavior in interracial (vs. intraracial) interactions.

Conclusions: This research highlights the emotional, metaperceptual, and motivational outcomes following ingroup members’ stereotypical behavior in intergroup contexts that extend beyond dyadic encounters.


stereotype-confirming behavior, interracial interactions, intraracial interactions, intergroup processes





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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.



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