Term of Award
Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Psychology
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
This study sought to replicate and extend Vorauer and Quesnel’s (2016) research on the malleability of ingroup status perceptions. With a sample of White majority and Indigenous minority Canadians, Vorauer and Quesnel tested the impact of being the target of two common intergroup relation strategies (i.e., empathy and perspective taking) on perceptions of status in society. They concluded that when minority group members were the targets of empathy rather than perspective taking, the targets experienced a significant decrease in perceptions of ingroup societal status. In the present experiment, White participants were randomly assigned the role of actor or target, and randomly assigned to the mixed-race or same-race exchange condition. This resulted in Thirty-seven White – White and White – Black dyads. The White actors were additionally randomly assigned to receive either an empathic or perspective taking mindset manipulation. Following the manipulation, actors and targets completed a brief discussion and then responded to status related dependent measures. All data were submitted to Multilevel Modeling (MLM) analyses to assess 2 (role: actor or target) x 2 (exchange type: mixed-race or same-race) x 2 (mindset manipulation: empathy or perspective taking) interactions for the dependent measures. Analyses revealed a significant main effect of mixed-race versus same-race (i.e., White – Black versus White – White) exchange type on perceptions of Black Status such that individuals in mixed-race exchanges rated Black status significantly lower than individuals in same-race exchanges. A significant main effect of actor versus target role on perceptions of White Status was observed such that targets rated White status significantly higher than actors. A significant main effect of actor versus target role on perceptions of Partners’ Individual-Level Power was observed such that targets rated White status significantly higher than actors. Although the present study could not replicate Vorauer and Quesnel’s (2016) findings, researchers should continue to examine the malleability of Americans’ perceptions of group status focusing on modifying perceptions of White and Black status in America so that they are in-line with objective measures of status. This will allow researchers to identify effective means of enacting positive social change which ameliorates the burden of inequality in America.
Carroll, Rain Marie, "An Experimental Assessment of Empathy Compared to Perspective Taking on Minority Group Members in Intergroup Exchanges with Majority Group Members" (2018). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 1730.
Research Data and Supplementary Material