"What did You Say, and Who do You Think You Are?" How Power Differences Affect Emotional Reactions to Prejudice

  • Barreto M
  • Ellemers N
  • Fiske S
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Abstract

Three studies examine how power differences between targets and sources of prejudice affect targets' emotional reactions to prejudice. Study 1 first demonstrates that people do not expect powerful others to be prejudiced. Studies 2 and 3 then examine what happens when targets encounter prejudice, as a function of the source's power. Targets notice and recall prejudiced statements from powerful sources, irrespective of whether or not they are personally dependent on the source. However, results also demonstrate that personal dependency on the source determines how much targets attend to and are emotionally affected by prejudice. Emotional reactions to prejudice as a function of source power were mediated by negative expectations about future interactions.

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