Term of Award

Summer 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 1

Akiv Dawson

Committee Member 2

Amy Hackney


Colorism is a byproduct of racial bias favoring those within minority racial groups who have a lighter skin tone. Members of a single racial group can experience different types of bias and stereotypes based on their skin tone. Participants (N = 17) viewed either a Black man with light or dark skin or a White man who was holding either a gun or a benign object. Participants tried to make a quick and accurate decision to shoot or not shoot based on the target presented. Analyses were conducted to examine if there was a relationship between a target's skin tone and the accuracy and reaction time of decision making. The results concluded that when a weapon is present there are faster reaction times, regardless of skin tone. However, there was no statistical significant difference between reaction time and accuracy based on skin tone or object type. This may be due to the small sample size and inadequate power to detect a small effect. Future directions such as additional measures and diversifying stimuli are discussed.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material