The self-regulation of prejudice: Toward understanding its lived character

  • Monteith M
  • Mark A
  • Ashburn-Nardo L
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Abstract

Survey and laboratory studies provide support for the self-regulation of prejudice, but it is unclear whether people similarly self-regulate in"real life. Using a phenomenological approach, 153 non-Black participants recalled racial experiences in which they responded in ways they later wished had been different. Participants internally motivated to control prejudice reported discrepancies regardless of their external motivation, but even participants low on internal motivation reported prejudice-related discrepancies if they were externally motivated. Content analysis results are presented to summarize participants discrepancy experiences. Also, most participants discrepancies produced negative self-directed affect and the self-regulation of prejudice in the future. Findings suggest that self-regulation generalizes beyond the laboratory and occurs even among people who are not internally motivated to control their prejudice.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Internal and external motivation to control prejudice
  • Prejudice
  • Self-regulation

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