Politically liberal and conservative White Americans were asked to
evaluate a legal case in which a police officer was acquitted of assault
charges against a motorist in state court but then retried in federal
court. When the initiator of the assault was unspecified, liberals
perceived a violation of double jeopardy significantly more for a Black
officer-White motorist pair than vice versa. When the officer was
identified as the initiator, however, double jeopardy ratings decreased
significantly only for the Black officer. These results support the
hypothesis that liberals, as aversive racists, will often discriminate
in favor of Blacks except when discrimination against Blacks can be
justified as non-racist. Unexpectedly, conservatives showed no
indication of racial bias under any of the conditions.
Contemporary theories of racism propose that race-based prejudice
in North America has not decreased as much in recent years as some
surveys would seem to indicate (see Dovidio & Gaertner, 1998, 2005).
Instead, the expressions of racism are simply less overt than they used
to be. The theories of modern racism (McConahay, 1986) and symbolic
racism (Sears, 1998; Sears & Henry, 2003) both posit that due to
changing social norms against direct and overt expressions of racism
many White Americans beginning in the 1960s have tended to express their
racism in indirect, disguised, or symbolic ways. For example, such
individuals might argue that they oppose social policies like
affirmative action not because they are prejudiced as individuals but
because it is against a proper interpretation of Civil Rights laws to
use race as a factor in decisions such as hiring and university
admissions. By taking such a position, modern-symbolic racists can
continue to maintain or at least project a non-prejudiced self-image
despite possessing negative, explicit, race-based beliefs and attitudes.
The theory of aversive racism (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1998, 2005)
also proposes subtle, indirect expressions of prejudice by White
Americans. However, aversive racists, unlike modern-symbolic racists,
are hypothesized to have internalized some genuine egalitarian attitudes
like fairness and equality and also to possess a sincere, non-prejudiced
self-image. Yet, Dovidio and Gaertner still categorize such individuals
as racist because research indicates that they have non-conscious
negative, race-based feelings that sometimes bubble to the surface as
prejudice (e.g., Dovidio, Evans, & Tyler, 1986; Dovidio &
Gaertner, 1991; Son Hing, Chung-Yan, Grunfeld, Robichaud, & Zanna,
2005; Son Hing, Li, & Zanna, 2002). Thus, a non-conscious emotional
conflict is hypothesized to exist in these individuals due to their need
to maintain a genuinely non-prejudiced self-image while at the same time
they experience involuntary, negative, race-based feelings. The label
aversive racism describes this unpleasant internal conflict.
Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998, 2005) Integrated Model of Racism
Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998, 2005) integrated model suggests
that the modern, symbolic, and aversive racism models all have validity
but that they apply basically to different types of people.
Specifically, the model links modern-symbolic racism to political
conservatives and aversive racism to political liberals. The reasoning
is that North American conservatives as a group still maintain many
prejudiced beliefs and attitudes and have only learned that it is
improper to express such beliefs in most contemporary public settings.
North American liberals, in contrast, while strongly opposed to racism
in both their public behaviors and private beliefs, still maintain
negative but largely unconscious feelings/beliefs based on race.
The integrated model sometimes predicts different reactions from
conservatives and liberals in specific inter-racial settings. For
example, White North American conservatives should show bias against
Blacks relative to Whites anytime they are not aware that their
race-related behavior is under surveillance (e.g., Gaertner, 1973; Nail,
Harton, & Decker, 2003). If participants do not know that their
potential discrimination is being monitored, they should be less on
guard to conceal their prejudice.
White North American liberals, on the other hand, should show
favoritism toward Blacks relative to Whites in any situation where (a)
race and (b) norms of fairness are both salient (Dovidio & Gaertner,
1998). Such favoritism is a way that liberals can support their
non-prejudiced self-image while simultaneously defending against their
automatic, negative, race-based feelings (e.g., Fein, Morgan, Norton,
& Sommers, 1997; Frey & Gaertner, 1986). We refer to such
favoritism as the reverse discrimination effect. It is reminiscent of
Freud's reaction formation and of Shakespeare's line from
Hamlet, "The Lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Research Evidence Concerning the Integrated Model
Evidence consistent with the integrated model has been reported in
numerous studies (e.g., Gaertner, 1973; Fein et al., 1997; Frey &
Gaertner, 1986; Son Hing et al., 2002, 2005). Research by Nail et al.
(2003), however, is the only published account performed since the
initial proposal of the integrated model. They tested the model directly
by measuring political orientation and including both conservatives and
liberals in the same study, inspired by the infamous Rodney King beating
by Los Angeles police officers in 1991. White American participants in
Study 1, Sample 1 were asked to evaluate a legal case in which a White
male police officer physically assaulted a Black male motorist or vice
versa. The officer was acquitted of assault and battery charges in state
court but was later tried and convicted in federal court. The dependent
variable was the extent to which participants perceived that the case
had violated the U.S. Constitution's protection against trying a
defendant twice for the same crime (viz., double jeopardy).
The findings supported the integrated model's predictions of
bias on the part of both conservatives and liberals. Importantly,
however, the bias shown by each group was different in form.
Conservatives gave significantly higher double jeopardy ratings to the
White officer (M = 4.62) than to the Black officer (M = 1.25). This
finding supports the integrated model's prediction that many
conservatives are still fundamentally prejudiced at heart and that,
consequently, they will discriminate against minorities if they are
unaware that their prejudice is under surveillance, as in
For liberals, however, the results were reversed; they gave
significantly higher double jeopardy ratings to the Black officer (M =
3.18) than to the White (M = 1.91). This finding supports the integrated
model's prediction that when race and norms of fairness are both
salient, liberals will show favoritism toward minorities (i.e., the
reverse discrimination effect). Presumably this is a means of defending
against their negative race-based feelings while at the same time
providing strong evidence that they are not prejudiced. Race was salient
because the confrontation was always between a Black and a White. Norms
of fairness were salient because the study concerned a legal case and
trial. The courtroom, with its standard of blind justice, is ideally the
quintessential American fairness setting. The Nail et al. (2003)
findings were replicated in two follow-up experiments (Study 1, Sample
2; Study 2).
Despite this support for the integrated model, the Nail et al.
(2003) research is limited in at least one important way: It did not
examine what is perhaps the integrated model's most intriguing (and
risky) prediction--that liberals, as aversive racists, will show
discrimination against Blacks relative to Whites if such discrimination
can be reasonably justified as due to factors other than race. According
to Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998, 2005) theorizing, in interracial
settings liberals/aversive racists spend a good deal of time and energy
suppressing their automatic negative feelings toward Blacks and other
minorities. Thus, the theory goes, they should be on edge and anxious to
vent these negative feelings in the form of direct discrimination
against Blacks. However, they need a good excuse so they can
discriminate without challenging their own non-prejudiced self-image.
Such a condition should exist any time there are strong cues from the
environment that might serve as a justification for a negative
evaluation of a Black (Frey & Gaertner, 1986; Son Hing, Chung-Yan,
Hamilton, & Zanna, in press).
Employing the Nail et al. (2003) double jeopardy paradigm, what if
some liberals are told that it was the Black officer who had initiated
the assault by throwing the first punch? Liberals should give
significantly lower double jeopardy ratings here relative to liberal
participants not told who initiated the assault. This prediction holds
because only participants told that it was the Black officer who had
thrown the first punch would be able to clearly attribute their low
rating to the Black officer's behavior--initiating the
assault--rather than to his race. Based on the theory of aversive
racism, liberals can not easily attribute the officer's behavior to
his race because it would threaten their non-prejudiced self image. Even
stronger support for the integrated model would be obtained if, knowing
that the officer threw the first punch, liberal Black officer-White
motorist participants were to give significantly lower double jeopardy
ratings than liberal White officer-White motorist control participants.
There is surprisingly little direct evidence that liberals will
discriminate against Blacks if it can be justified as non-racist. Little
direct evidence exists because few studies have assessed political
orientation while at the same time providing a strong excuse to
discriminate against Blacks. Studies by Gaertner (1973) and Sniderman,
Piazza, Tetlock, and Kendrick (1991) are two such studies. Yet, the
evidence they supply regarding the integrated model is mixed.
Gaertner (1973) had confederates telephone predominately White
liberals and conservatives at home with a request for help. The caller
was unknown to the resident and was either Black or White. Black callers
spoke with "a modified 'Southern Negro' dialect,"
White callers "with a speech pattern common to whites in New
York" (p. 336). If the resident did not hang up before the request
for help was made, conservatives were significantly more likely to help
a White (92%) than a Black caller (65%). Liberals showed no significant
difference in helping as a function of race, White (76%), Black (64%).
Note that these results for conservatives support the integrated model.
Because the phone call was presumably a private one, conservatives'
racial bias was not under surveillance, at least to their knowledge. As
a result, conservatives apparently felt free to let their true colors
show (i.e., discriminating against the Black by not helping). Support
for the integrated model would have been stronger, however, had liberals
shown the reverse discrimination effect, that is, significantly more
helping for the Black caller than for the White.
What happened if the resident hung up before the request for help
could be made? Here liberals showed bias against a Black caller (19%)
relative to a White (3%), whereas the difference among conservatives was
not significant statistically, Black (8.3%), White (4.7%). Note that the
liberals' discriminatory behavior against Blacks in this case
supports the integrated model in that liberals could attribute their
abrupt ending of the call to a strong external cue other than race,
namely, getting an uninvited, probably unwanted phone call at home from
a stranger. Under these conditions, liberals could hang up on the Black
caller without threatening their self-image as being non-prejudiced.
Sniderman et al. (1991) conducted telephone interviews of White
American liberal and conservative participants regarding the degree to
which a White or Black laid-off worker should be entitled to
governmental assistance. In one condition, a strong external cue for
discrimination was provided in that the worker was described as being
either dependable or undependable. None of the results, however, were
very supportive of the integrated model. In the dependable condition, a
significantly greater percentage of conservatives supported at least
some assistance for the Black worker (81%) as compared to the White
worker (59%), whereas in the undependable condition there was no
difference among conservatives in the percentage favoring support as a
function of race. The percentage of liberal participants endorsing help
in the undependable/Black worker condition (84%) was not less than that
in the undependable/White worker condition (81%), this despite the fact
that liberals here might have attributed any lack of support to a strong
external cue--the worker's lack of dependability. In the dependable
condition, liberals also showed no difference in the percentage
endorsing help between Blacks (83%) and Whites (83%).
Further studies are needed because of (a) the lack of studies
specifically designed to test Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998, 2005)
integrated model by including a measure of participants' political
orientation, (b) the failure of the Nail et al. (2003) studies to
include a strong external cue that might justify discrimination by
liberals against Blacks, and (c) the lack of consistency in findings
between studies that have included such a cue (viz., Gaertner, 1973;
Sniderman et al., 1991). The purpose of the present research is to
provide a critical test of the aversive racism/integrated models. We
pursued this goal by extending the Nail et al. double jeopardy paradigm
to include in some conditions a strong situational cue that might serve
to justify discrimination against Blacks.
The Present Research
We employed a 2 X 3 X 2 design. One independent variable was a
measured individual difference variable, political orientation (liberal
vs. conservative). A second was a manipulated, between-participants
variable, race combination (White officer-White motorist [control],
Black officer-White motorist, or White officer-Black motorist). The
third independent variable was also manipulated between participants:
Who threw the first punch? (unspecified vs. the officer).
Hypotheses Regarding Liberals. Based on Dovidio and Gaertner's
(1998) integrated model and the Nail et al. (2003) research, the results
for liberals in the "first punch unspecified" cells should
replicate those of Nail et al., where the thrower of the first punch was
also unspecified. Accordingly, Hypothesis 1 states that liberals in the
Black officer-White motorist/unspecified cell should show favoritism to
the Black officer; specifically, these participants should perceive
double jeopardy significantly more than liberals in the White
officer-Black motorist/unspecified cell. Such favoritism can supply
evidence to liberals/aversive racists that they really must be
non-prejudiced after all.
Notwithstanding this prediction, if the integrated model is correct
in its proposition that liberals/aversive racists will reveal their
prejudice by discriminating against Blacks provided that such
discrimination can be justified, Hypothesis 2 states that liberals
should significantly decrease their double jeopardy ratings for the
Black officer once it is revealed that he initiated the assault;
specifically, liberals in the Black officer-White motorist/officer first
punch cell should perceive double jeopardy significantly less than
liberals in the Black officer-White motorist/unspecified cell. This
prediction follows the logic of the integrated model because here a
lower rating by liberals can be attributed to the Black officer throwing
the first punch rather than to his race.
A related notion is that the hypothesized decrease in double
jeopardy ratings among liberals for a Black officer who throws the first
punch should be greater than that for a White Officer who does so. Thus
among liberals, Hypothesis 3 states that the independent variables, race
combination and first punch, should interact. Such an interaction would
indicate that knowledge of the officer throwing the first punch
adversely affected liberals' perceptions of the Black officer more
so than their perceptions of the White officers.
If it is true that liberals/aversive racists will reveal their
prejudice by discriminating against Blacks when such discrimination can
be justified, Hypothesis 4 states that when the officer throws the first
punch, liberal/Black officer-White motorist participants should give
lower double jeopardy ratings than liberal/White officer-White motorist
controls. Once more, such a finding would indicate that knowledge of the
officer throwing the first punch adversely affected liberals'
perceptions of the Black officer more so than their perceptions of the
White officer. Theoretically, such discrimination allows
liberals/aversive racists the opportunity to vent their intra-psychic
conflicts over race, all the while maintaining an egalitarian,
Hypotheses Regarding Conservatives. As with liberals, the findings
for conservatives in the first punch unspecified cells should replicate
those of Nail et al. (2003). Accordingly, Hypothesis 5 states that
conservatives in the White officer-Black motorist/unspecified cell
should show favoritism to the White officer. Specifically, they should
perceive double jeopardy significantly more than conservatives in the
Black officer-White motorist/unspecified cell. Since race is being
manipulated between participants, conservatives should not know that
their prejudice is under surveillance. Thus, they should not be on guard
to conceal their prejudice; they should show greater sympathy for a
White officer's predicament of being tried twice than for a Black
officer's identical predicament.
When it is known that the officer threw the first punch, the
integrated model's predictions for liberals and conservatives are
similar. That is, both liberals and conservatives should use the Black
officer's throwing the first punch as an excuse to discriminate
against him (cf. Son Hing et al., in press). Further, it seems
reasonable that conservatives, like liberals, should decrease their
sympathy for any officer who throws the first punch in a confrontation
with a citizen. Hypothesis 6 states, therefore, that conservatives will
give lower double jeopardy ratings in the first punch conditions, in
general, than in the unspecified conditions. Because
conservatives/modern-symbolic racists are hypothesized to be biased
against Blacks, however, this decrease should be greater in the Black
officer cell than in the White officer cells. Thus, Hypothesis 7 states
that among conservatives the independent variables race combination and
first punch should interact.
Participants (N = 193) were recruited from a southwestern U.S.
college town and its surrounding area. For comparability with the Nail
et al. (2003, Studies 1 and 2) groups, which were composed of
non-college aged adults, four undergraduate student/experimenters, three
females and one male, recruited volunteers from their non-college-aged
friends and acquaintances. Because our focus was on the hypothesized
racism among White political liberals and conservatives, we eliminated
all non-White participants, as well as all politically moderate
participants, leaving a sample of 86 for the analyses (41 liberals, 45
conservatives; 51 females, 35 males; Range: 24 to 87 years, Md = 46
years). With the exception of political orientation, participants were
randomly assigned to the six between-participants cells of our design: 3
(race combination: White officer-White motorist [control], Black
officer-White motorist, or White officer-Black motorist) X 2 (first
punch: unspecified vs. the officer). We obtained no main effects or
interactions involving gender; thus, gender will not be given further
Underneath a snapshot of either a Black or White police officer in
uniform, a paragraph described how Officer Bradley Williams had been put
on trial twice, first in a state court and acquitted, then in federal
court and convicted, for the same offense--assaulting a motorist.
Pre-testing demonstrated that the photos were rated equal in
handsomeness. The assault had occurred following an argument over a
minor traffic violation. The scenario indicated the race of both the
officer and the motorist. Each scenario was identical for both the Black
and White officer except that an extra sentence was added or not to
indicate in the former case that the argument had escalated as a result
of Officer Williams throwing the first punch. On the next page, we
quoted the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment, followed by a
question assessing the primary dependent variable, double jeopardy:
"In your opinion, does the Bradley Williams case violate the spirit
or letter of the double jeopardy clause?" (1 = Not at all to 7 =
Yes, definitely). A second question was used to as a manipulation check
regarding who threw the first punch: "Who do you think was most
likely responsible for initiating the assault? (1 = The motorist to 7 =
The third page was made up of an 8-item political attitudes scale
adapted from a similar scale used by Nail et al. (2003, Study 1, Sample
2). Scores on this scale were used to support the validity of a separate
indicator of political orientation: participants' self-reported
political orientation (liberal, moderate, or conservative), which served
as our operational definition for liberal or conservative and appeared
at the top of the fourth page. (1)
The eight-item political attitudes scale from page 3 contained a
list of four stereotypically conservative targets (Republicans,
President George W. Bush, conservatives, and increasing military
spending) and four stereotypically liberal targets (The American Civil
Liberties Union, liberals, Senator Ted Kennedy, and The National
Organization of Women). Participants indicated their attitude toward
each target using a scale ranging from -5 (Very unfavorable) to +5 (Very
favorable). To create a single composite measure, liberal targets were
recoded such that across all eight items negative numbers indicated
liberal leanings and positive numbers, conservative leanings. Overall,
the political attitudes scale showed good internal consistency ([alpha]
= .92). A composite political attitudes score was computed by averaging
across the eight items.
Following the self-report item of political orientation on the
fourth page, participants reported their age, gender, and ethnicity.
Because participants' political attitudes and political
orientations were assessed only after they had responded to Officer
Williams' case, participants were blind to the fact that political
orientation would be a factor in this research. Further, the ordering of
the questionnaires assured that the experimenters were also blind as to
a participant's political orientation. The fifth and final page was
made up of the Modern Racism Scale (MRS; McConahay, 1986) as modified
slightly by Nail et al. (2003). The scale revealed good internal
consistency with the present sample ([alpha] = .87). It was used to help
validate our operational definition of liberals/aversive racists and
Consistent with previous theory and research (e.g., Lambert &
Chasteen, 1997; Nail et al., 2003; Weigel & Howes, 1985), we
expected that liberals would score lower on modern racism than
conservatives. Since liberals are hypothesized to have a genuinely
non-prejudiced self-image, the logic is that they will not endorse any
item that might indicate that they are even the least bit racist, even
the relatively subtle items of the MRS (e.g., "Discrimination
against Blacks is no longer a problem in the United States;" 1 =
Strongly disagree to 5 = Strongly agree). Conservatives, in contrast,
have less difficulty agreeing with such an item, at least to a moderate
degree, as they have been shown to have generally rationalized such
beliefs as non-racist (Emerson, Smith, & Sikkink, 1999; Kinder,
An experimenter approached a potential participant to inquire about
the possibility of filling out a "survey" to help with a
psychology class research project. Individuals were informed that they
would be simply listening and responding to a legal case that was real
but that "had not received much media attention in our region of
the country." The case was modeled on the Rodney King case but was
actually fictional. Participants were informed that their responses
would be purely opinion-based, that there would be no right or wrong
answers, and that they would also be asked to answer some attitudinal
and demographic questions. If a person agreed, the experimenter read a
sheet of instructions and had the person sign a consent form. The
experimenter then read the legal case scenario to the participant, and
following, handed him or her a copy of it. Participants were informed
that they could refer back to the scenario as many times as they liked
while answering any of the remaining questions. Upon completion,
participants sealed the entire survey packet in a provided envelope and
returned it to the experimenter. Lastly, the researcher debriefed the
participant, answered any questions, and thanked him or her for helping.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Operationally Defining Political Orientation
In order to assess the validity of our self report measure of
political orientation, the mean composite political attitudes scores of
participants who indicated that they were politically liberal (M = -1.8,
SD = 1.71) were compared with those who indicated that they were
politically conservative (M = 2.4, SD = 1.38). The comparison yielded
t(84) = - 12.67, p < .0001, [[eta].sup.2] = .66. Clearly,
self-reported liberals differed in their political attitudes from
self-reported conservatives. Moreover, liberals scored well below the
midpoint of our -5 to +5 scale, and conservatives well above it. The
correlation between political attitudes and self-reported political
orientation for the entire sample yielded r(192) = .78, p < .0001.
Taken as a whole, these findings replicate those of Nail et al. (2003)
and support the validity of our operational definition of political
orientation--self-reported political orientation.
Do Liberals and Conservatives Differ in Modern Racism?
If there is a link between liberalism and aversive racism on the
one hand, and between conservatism and modern racism on the other, as
the integrated model proposes, we should find that liberals score lower
in modern racism than conservatives. We entered the mean modern racism
scores into the 12 cells of our 2 (political orientation: liberal or
conservative) X 3 (race combination: White officer-White motorist
[control], Black officer-White motorist, or White officer-Black
motorist) X 2 (first punch: unspecified vs. the officer) design and
conducted an ANOVA. The results revealed a significant effect only for
the political orientation main effect, F(1, 73) = 45.05, p < .0001,
[[eta].sup.2] = .38. As expected, liberals scored lower in modern racism
(M = 1.9, SD = .72) than conservatives (M = 2.93, SD = .70).
Manipulation Check for First Punch
If the manipulation of who threw the first punch was effective,
officer-first-punch participants should perceive that Officer Williams
threw the first punch relative to the motorist (M = 4.67, SD = 1.83)
significantly more so than unspecified-first-punch participants (M =
2.8, SD = 2.03). A 2 X 3 X 2 ANOVA supported this prediction, yielding a
significant effect only for the first punch main effect, F(1, 73) =
17.99, p < .0001, [[eta].sup.2] = .20.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Mean double jeopardy ratings for liberal participants are presented
in Figure 1. First, considering only the unspecified first punch cells,
did the data replicate the previous findings of Nail et al. (2003, Study
1)? Yes. Consistent with Hypothesis 1, liberal/Black officer-White
motorist participants perceived double jeopardy significantly more (M =
6.12, SD = 1.73) than liberal/White officer-Black motorist participants
(M = 2.83, SD = 2.23), t(35) = 3.52, p < .003, [[eta].sup.2] = .26.
This finding is consistent with the hypothesis from Dovidio and
Gaertner's (1998, 2005) integrated model that liberals sometimes
show favoritism to minorities as a means of supporting their own
We wondered, however, whether the liberal bias in favor of the
Black officer would hold not only relative to White officer-Black
motorist/unspecified participants but also relative to White
officer-White motorist/unspecified control participants. To find out, we
tested between liberal/Black officer-White motorist/unspecified
participants (M = 6.12, SD = 1.73) and liberal/White officer-White
motorist/unspecified participants (M = 4.0, SD = 2.0). The contrast
yielded t(35) = 2.36, p < .03, [[eta].sup.2] = 14. This finding
indicates that the liberals' bias in favor of the Black officer was
significant even when race and racial conflict were not salient in the
comparison group (viz., the White officer-White motorist control group).
Accordingly, this bias can be attributed to the Black officer alone and
not to a combination of bias (a) in favor of a Black officer and (b)
against a White officer given a Black motorist/victim.
The focal hypotheses for liberals concern whether their bias in
favor of the Black officer will reverse once it is known that the Black
officer threw the first punch. Hypothesis 2 states that liberals in the
Black officer-White motorist/officer first punch cell should perceive
double jeopardy (M = 2.57, SD = 1.62) significantly less than liberals
in the Black officer-White motorist/unspecified cell (M = 6.12, SD =
1.73). Hypothesis 2 was supported, t(35) = 3.96, p < .0001,
[[eta].sup.2] = .31.
In the same vein, Hypothesis 3 states that the independent
variables, race combination and first punch, should interact. Hypothesis
3 was supported, F(2, 35) = 3.52, p < .05, [[eta].sup.2] = .17. We
explored this interaction by conducting tests for simple main effects.
Considering the simple main effects for first punch, the analyses
revealed that the interaction between race combination and first punch
was due almost totally to the difference between the Black officer-White
motorist/unspecified and the officer-first-punch conditions. Consistent
with the a priori planned contrast reported above in connection with
Hypothesis 2, Black officer-White motorist/officer first punch
participants (M = 2.57, SD = 1.62) reported lower double jeopardy
ratings than Black officer-White motorist/unspecified participants (M =
6.12, SD = 1.73), F(1, 35) = 15.71, p < .001, [[eta].sup.2] = .31.
However, the difference in the ratings of White officer-Black
motorist/officer first punch participants (M = 1.17, SD = .41) as
compared to White officer-Black motorist/unspecified participants was
only marginally significant (M = 2.83, SD = 2.23), F(1, 35) = 2.78, p
< .11, [[eta].sup.2] = .07. Further, there was no difference between
White officer-White motorist/officer first punch participants (M = 3.86,
SD = 1.77) and White officer-White motorist/unspecified participants (M
= 4.0, SD = 2.0), F < 1.
Taken together, the simple main effects for first punch reveal
among liberals that it was only the double jeopardy ratings of the Black
officer that were significantly lowered by knowledge that the first
punch had been thrown by the officer. This is precisely the overall
pattern that would be expected, consistent with Dovidio and
Gaertner's (1998) integrated model. It predicts that
liberals/aversive racists (a) sometimes show favoritism to minorities in
order to support their non-prejudiced self-image but (b) sometimes
discriminate against minorities as a direct expression of their
automatic, negative race-based feelings. (2)
Hypothesis 4 states that when the officer throws the first punch,
liberal/Black officer-White motorist participants should give lower
double jeopardy ratings (M = 2.57, SD = 1.62) than liberal/White
officer-White motorist controls (M = 3.86, SD = 1.77). Although in the
direction predicted by the integrated model, this contrast failed to
reach the traditional .05 level, t(35) = -1.39, p < .09,
[[eta].sup.2] = .05.
To summarize briefly, 3 of 4 hypotheses regarding liberals that
were derived from Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998, 2005) integrated
model of racism were supported in the present study. The difference
predicted in Hypothesis 4 was in the expected direction but fell short
of the conventional .05 level.
Double Jeopardy Findings for Conservatives
Mean double jeopardy ratings for conservative participants are
presented in Figure 2. First, considering only the unspecified first
punch cells, did the data replicate the previous findings of Nail et al.
(2003, Study 1)? No. In contrast to Hypothesis 5 and the integrated
model, conservatives in the White officer-Black motorist/unspecified
cell did not perceive double jeopardy significantly more (M = 5.0, SD =
2.27) than conservatives in the Black officer-White motorist/unspecified
cell (M = 4.29, SD = 2.56), t < 1. The difference was in the
predicted direction but fell far short of statistical significance.
Given that (a) the participants were recruited from the same general
population as the Nail et al. (2003) participants, (b) in these
conditions we replicated the Nail et al. methodology exactly, and (c) we
did replicate the Nail et al. results with regard to liberals, this
failure to replicate among conservatives is puzzling.
Given this failure, we reexamined Hypothesis 5, but this time only
with respect to those in our original sample who scored in the top 1/3
on the MRS. Our reasoning was that conservatism is only an indirect
indication of modern racism relative to actual scores on the MRS. Thus,
employing MRS scores should provide a stronger, more direct test of
Hypothesis 5. Nevertheless, we still found only marginal support for the
hypothesis that White modern racists will discriminate against Blacks if
race is manipulated between participants. Among those scoring in the top
1/3 of the MRS, White officer-Black motorist/unspecified participants
perceived double jeopardy only somewhat higher (M = 5.57, SD = 1.4) than
Black officer-White motorist/unspecified participants (M = 3.86, SD =
2.12), t(30) = 1.64, p < .06, [[eta].sup.2] = .08.
Hypothesis 6 states that conservatives will give lower double
jeopardy ratings in the officer-first-punch conditions, in general, than
in the unspecified conditions. Yet, because
conservatives/modern-symbolic racists are hypothesized to be generally
biased against Blacks, we expected that this decrease would be greater
in the Black officer cell than in the White officer cells. Thus,
Hypothesis 7 states that the independent variables race combination and
first punch should interact. Inspection of Figure 2 reveals, however,
that neither of these hypotheses was supported. Indeed, knowledge that
the officer had thrown the first punch, if anything, appears to have
increased the double jeopardy ratings among conservatives (see Figure
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
To explore for any non-hypothesized effects, we examined the data
in Figure 2 in a 3 (race combination: White officer-White motorist
[control], Black officer-White motorist, or White officer-Black
motorist) X 2 (first punch: unspecified vs. the officer) ANOVA. The
analysis revealed no significant main effects or interactions (all
F's < 1). Given these findings, we repeated this analysis, but
only among those participants who scored in the top 1/3 of our sample in
MRS. Again, the analysis yielded no significant main effects or
interactions (all F's < 1). Given the supportive evidence for
the hypothesis that White conservatives will discriminate against Blacks
when race is manipulated between-participants that has been reported in
past research by Gaertner (1973) and Nail et al. (2003) and other
evidence linking conservatism with modern-symbolic racism (e.g., Lambert
& Chasteen, 1997; Sears & Henry, 2003; Son Hing et al., in
press; Weigel & Howes, 1985), the present overall results for
conservatives are puzzling.
In this regard it is important to reiterate, however, that
Sniderman et al. (1991) also found that White conservatives did not
generally discriminate against Blacks. Specifically, it will be recalled
that slightly more conservatives reported that an undependable laid-off
Black worker was entitled to at least some government assistance (69%)
as compared to an undependable laid-off White worker (63%), this despite
the fact that the label "undependable" should have primed
negative minority group stereotypes and given conservatives a good
excuse to discriminate. What is more, the percentage of conservatives
endorsing help for a dependable laid-off worker was significantly
greater for a Black (81%) than for a White (59%). Similar results were
reported by McConahay (1983) who found that those scoring high on the
MRS also discriminated in favor of a Black target over a White under
Considering everything, it appears that the simple notion that
White North American conservatives, because of their fundamental
prejudice, will generally discriminate against Blacks when they do not
know that their potential racism is under surveillance is not supported
by the weight of the evidence. It is possible that any particular sample
of conservatives might be non-prejudiced or at least low in measurable
prejudice. For example, the Sniderman et al. (1991) study was based on a
random sample from the San Francisco--Oakland Bay Area in 1986. The
researchers acknowledged that "... one cannot leave out the South
and still tell the full story of race as an issue in U.S. politics"
(p. 443). Further, it appears that situational factors can come into
play that can derail or even reverse any prejudice that any particular
sample of conservatives might possess. For example, Blacks who seem to
be conforming to White, middleclass values such as being a dependable
worker may be evaluated more positively than matched Whites, as
Sniderman et al. (1991) found. Similar to Dovidio and Gaertner's
(1998, 2005) theorizing among liberals, conservatives might be able to
use such positive evaluations of Blacks to prove to themselves that they
are not really prejudiced at all. This issue could be fertile ground for
Double Jeopardy Findings Considering Liberals and Conservatives
Given our predictions, in the analyses to this point we have
considered liberals and conservatives separately. Nevertheless, there
are two contrasts between liberals and conservatives that would be
expected to be different based on Dovidio and Gaertner's (1998,
2005) integrated model. The expected differences in both cases follow
from the integrated model's hypothesized biases either for or
against Blacks by liberals and conservatives, respectively. Both
contrasts apply to unspecified participants only. The first expectation
is that liberal/Black officer-White motorist participants should have
higher double jeopardy ratings (M = 6.12, SD = 1.73) than
conservative/Black officer-White motorist participants (M = 4.29, SD =
2.56). This prediction was supported, t(74) = 1.83, p < .04,
[[eta].sup.2] = .04. Yet, the means in the unspecified/White
officer-White motorist control groups for liberals (M = 4.0, SD = 2.0)
and conservatives (M = 4.4, SD = 2.3) both indicate that this effect was
driven completely by the bias among liberals in favor of the Black
officer to the exclusion of the hypothesized bias among conservatives in
favor of the White officer.
The second expectation is that liberal/White officer-Black motorist
participants should have lower double jeopardy ratings (M = 2.83, SD =
2.23) than conservative/White officer-Black motorist participants (M =
5.0, SD = 2.27). This hypothesis, too, was supported, t(74) = 2.07, p
< .03, [[eta].sup.2] = .05. Again, comparison with the
unspecified/White officer-White motorist control groups for liberals (M
= 4.0, SD = 2.0) and conservatives (M = 4.4, SD = 2.3) reveals that this
effect was primarily driven by bias among liberals against a White
officer who assaults a Black motorist.
To explore the overall data for any additional effects, we
submitted the double jeopardy scores to the full 2 X 3 X 2 ANOVA of our
design. We restrict our presentation here only to effects not redundant
with the analyses reported above. The ANOVA yielded a significant main
effect for political orientation, F(1, 74) = 7.72, p < .007,
[[eta].sup.2] = .09. Consistent with stereotypic views, conservatives in
general showed significantly greater support for the police officer in
terms of higher double jeopardy ratings (M = 4.67, SD = 2.02) than
liberals (M = 3.56, SD = 2.26). The ANOVA also yielded a significant
main effect for first punch, F(1, 74) = 4.0, p < .05, [[eta].sup.2] =
.05. Unspecified first punch participants in general gave significantly
higher double jeopardy ratings (M = 4.53, SD = 2.28) than officer first
punch participants (M = 3.78, SD = 2.08). Thus, quite reasonably enough,
participants were more sympathetic to the police officer if it was not
specified who threw the first punch than if it was known that the
officer had done so.
Both the political orientation and officer first punch main
effects, however, must be interpreted in light of a significant
political orientation X first punch interaction, F(1, 74) = 4.87, p <
.03, [[eta].sup.2] = .06 (see Figure 3). Tests for simple main effects
revealed that this interaction was due primarily to the low double
jeopardy ratings given by participants in the liberal/officer first
punch condition (M = 2.53). These participants gave lower ratings than
both liberal/unspecified first punch participants (M = 4.32), F(1, 74) =
8.65, p < .005, [[eta].sup.2] = .10, and conservative/officer first
punch participants (M = 4.65), F(1, 74) = 12.98, p < .001,
[[eta].sup.2] = .15. Neither of these groups differed, however from
conservative/unspecified first punch participants (M = 4.56), both
F's < 1.3
[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]
From the perspective of the integrated model, we did not anticipate
that conservatives would be so uninfluenced by information that the
police officer had thrown the first punch, be he White or Black (see
Figure 2). We did not anticipate that conservative/officer first punch
participants (M = 4.65) would give double jeopardy ratings so much
higher on average than those of liberal/officer first punch participants
(M = 2.53). Yet, considering the association between conservatism and
rightwing authoritarianism that has been reported in numerous studies
(e.g., Altemeyer, 1988; 1998; Christie, 1991), we might have predicted
that conservatives would be more sympathetic than liberals to the plight
of a twice-tried police officer.
A number of studies have shown that participants high in right-wing
authoritarianism tend to support members of official government agencies
and the police even when they violate the law (e.g., Altemeyer, 1996;
Feather, 1998; Heaven & Bucci, 2001). If we assume that the present
conservatives were also relatively high in right-wing authoritarianism,
this might help explain the present overall main effect for political
orientation and especially the significant political orientation X first
punch interaction presented above (see Figure 3). In retrospect, it
makes a good deal of sense that conservatives/high right-wing
authoritarians relative to liberals/low right-wing authoritarians might
be quick to defend a police officer tried twice for a single offense,
assaulting a motorist, even if the officer threw the first punch. The
link between conservatism and right-wing authoritarianism alone,
however, can not explain our failure to replicate the Nail et al. (2003)
results in our conservative/unspecified first punch cells.
It might be important in this regard to note that the Nail et al.
(2003) data were collected before the Al Qaeda attacks on the United
States on 9/11/01, whereas the present data were collected after
9/11/01, about one year after the attacks. Yet, the difference in double
jeopardy ratings among conservatives in the Black officer-White motorist
cells between Nail et al. (2003, Study 1, Sample 1) and the present
study is striking (M = 1.25 vs. M = 4.29, respectively). Might the
9/11/01 attacks have induced a sense of threat in the present
conservatives, a threat both to the security of the United States as a
whole and to its individual citizens? If so, might this threat have
triggered support among conservatives in response for any entity that
symbolizes traditional American values, for any legitimate authority
figure such as a police officer? Might this support have extended to
police officers, in general, even to a Black police officer who
assaulted a White motorist, even when he threw the first punch (see
Yet, if the hypothesized threat induced in the nation in the
aftermath of 9/11/01 caused the present conservatives to be
hypersensitive to threat and to support a police officer in response,
and if these events caused us, in turn, to fail to replicate the Nail et
al. (2003) findings with respect to conservatives, why did this threat
not have similar consequences with respect to the present liberals? Why
were we able to replicate the Nail et al. (2003) findings with respect
to liberals but not conservatives? Perhaps it is because conservatives
as a group may be more sensitive to threats to their worldview and
therefore more defensive than liberals (e.g., Greenberg et al., 1990,
Study 2; Greenberg, Simon, Pyszczynski, Solomon, & Chatel, 1990,
Pyszczynski et al. (2006, Study 2) found that conservatives
responded with greater defensiveness than liberals to the specific
threat of being reminded of 9/11/01. Future research that measures
political orientation and right-wing authoritarianism and manipulates
such variables as terrorism salience, race salience, fairness salience,
and excuse-to-discriminate should be valuable in determining the
conditions under which White conservatives and liberals will show bias
with respect to Blacks and other minorities, be it positive or negative.
The present research obtained support for Dovidio and
Gaertner's (1998, 2005) integrated model of racism with respect to
political liberals but not conservatives. We replicated the findings of
Nail et al. (2003) that liberals will show bias in favor of a
twice-prosecuted Black officer given a White victim, relative to a White
officer given a Black victim. Furthermore, this bias in favor of a Black
officer essentially reversed once liberals learned that the Black
officer had initiated the assault on the motorist by throwing the first
punch (Figure 1). Clearly, liberals were influenced by both the race of
the officer and victim and by the circumstances under which the officer
was tried twice for the same offense. Contrary to predictions,
conservatives, in contrast, were remarkably uninfluenced by these same
The overall pattern of results for liberals and conservatives does
offer support for the integrated model in one way. The model holds that
liberals/aversive racists, unlike conservatives/modern racists,
experience significant intra-psychic conflict over race. If true, then
one might expect that the behavior of liberals/aversive racists would be
more highly variable and capricious across different race-related
situations than that of conservatives/modern-symbolic racists (see also
Katz, 1981; Katz, Cohen, & Glass, 1975).
Given greater underlying conflict and uncertainty, it follows that
subsequent related behaviors would be more subject to change and
variability (Brockner, 1983; Steele, Spencer, & Lynch, 1993). Visual
inspection of Figures 1 and 2 regarding differences in liberals and
conservatives, respectively, provides support for this proposition. As
can be seen, there are wide differences in the behavior of liberals as a
function of race combination and first punch, but essentially no
differences for conservatives. The finding of a significant race
combination X first punch interaction among liberals but not
conservatives quantifies and gives statistical support to the
differences between liberals and conservatives depicted in Figures 1 and
2 that are so apparent to the eye.
One limitation of this research and of prejudice theory and
research in general is that there is no generally accepted self-report
measure of aversive racism. To elaborate, modern racism can be assessed
with the MRS (McConahay, 1986), and herein we defined (a) a
modern-symbolic racist as a self-reported conservative who scored
relatively high on the MRS and (b) an aversive racist as self-reported
liberal who scored relatively low on the MRS. Still, there is no scale
that measures aversive racism more directly. Gaertner and Dovidio (1986)
have even questioned whether the development of a conventional aversive
racism scale is possible. Research by Son Hing et al. (2002, 2005),
however, has made progress toward addressing this issue.
Given the position of Dovidio and Gaertner (1998, 2005) that
aversive racists hold conscious positive beliefs and attitudes toward
Blacks and other minorities but at the same time negative non-conscious
feelings, Son Hing et al. have proposed that aversive racism might be
accurately defined operationally by low explicit racism coupled with
high implicit racism. Explicit racism can be assessed by self-report
measures such as the MRS, implicit racism by race-related word
completions (Son Hing et al., 2002; Steele & Aronson, 1995) or
response latency associations to race-related stimuli (e.g., faces,
positive or negative labels; e.g., Dovidio & Gaertner, 1991; Fazio,
Jackson, Dunton, & Williams, 1995; Rudman, 2004; Son Hing et al.,
2005). By whatever means implicit attitudes are measured, the assumption
is that implicit racial attitudes represent fragments in memory from
past experiences with minorities. Further, these fragments can influence
behavior quite apart from one's conscious awareness or
Supporting the validity of this conceptualization, Son Hing et al.
(2002) reported that low explicit/high implicit racism individuals
(i.e., aversive racists) were very likely to compensate by showing
favoritism to a minority student organization once memories regarding
their own past undesired racist behavior toward members of this minority
group had been primed. In contrast, those scoring low in both explicit
and implicit racism (i.e., the truly non-prejudiced) showed no such
tendency. More recently, Son Hing et al. (in press) have extended the
Son Hing et al. (2002) logic regarding explicit and implicit attitudes
to modern racists--defined as those scoring high in both explicit and
implicit racism. Using response latencies as the measure of implicit
racism, Son Hing et al. (in press) found that modern racists and
aversive racists alike were more likely to discriminate against a
minority job applicant whose qualifications were mixed and therefore
ambiguous relative to truly non-prejudiced individuals (Studies 2 and 3,
respectively). Especially pertinent to the present investigation and
analysis, in Study 1 Son Hing et al. (in press) showed that aversive
racists scored very low on a measure of political conservatism, whereas
modern racists scored relatively high.
Researchers interested in testing tenets of Dovidio and
Gaertner's (1998, 2005) integrated model, as well as other
contemporary models of racism, would probably be well-advised to
consider in their research design and methodology the work of Son Hing
and colleagues. Such research could be pivotal in establishing limit and
boundary conditions of the models.
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(1) We employed the single-item self-report measure as our
operational definition of political orientation for comparability with
past research (e.g., Gaertner, 1973; Nail et al., 2003; Sniderman et
al., 1991). Defining liberal versus conservative with a tripartite split
of our political attitudes scale yielded results that were almost
identical with those reported herein and would have required no changes
in our interpretations or conclusions.
(2) Considering the simple main effects for race combination,
exploration of the interaction revealed a significant effect when
considering only unspecified participants, F(2, 35) = 6.59, p < .01,
[[eta].sup.2] = .27. Post hoc analysis with the Games-Howell procedure
revealed once more, consistent with the a priori planned contrast
reported above in relation to Hypothesis 1, that Black officer-White
motorist/unspecified participants perceived double jeopardy
significantly more (M = 6.12, SD = 1.73) than White officer-Black
motorist/unspecified participants (M = 2.83, SD = 2.23), p < .04.
White officer-White motorist/unspecified control participants (M = 4.0,
SD = 2.0), however, did not differ significantly from either of these
two more extreme groups (both p's > .11). Together, these
findings indicate that liberal/unspecified participants were neither
biased in favor of a Black officer, nor biased against a White officer,
per se. Rather, their bias was only apparent when the comparison was
between officers and motorists both of different races (viz., the
difference between Black officer-White motorist participants and White
officer-Black motorist participants), a condition that presumably
increases the saliency of race as compared to the White officer-White
motorist condition. This finding supports the Dovidio and Gaertner
(1998, 2005) hypothesis that liberals/aversive racists may discriminate
in favor of or against Blacks only when race is salient.
Further exploration of the simple main effects for race combination
also revealed a significant effect when considering only officer first
punch participants, F(2, 35) = 3.9, p < .05, [[eta].sup.2] = .18.
Post hoc analysis with the Games-Howell procedure revealed that it was
only White officer-Black motorist participants (M = 1.17, SD = .41) who
gave significantly lower ratings than White officer-White motorist
control participants (M = 3.86, SD = 1.77), p < .02. Black
officer-White motorist participants (M = 2.57, SD = 1.62) did not differ
significantly from either of these two more extreme groups (both
p's > .14).
(3) The three-way interaction, 2 (political orientation) X 3 (race
combination) X 2 (first punch), yielded: F(2, 74) = 2.18, p = .12,
[[eta].sup.2] = .06.
Author Note We thank Seth Miller, Courtney Phillips, and Katrina
Bedell for helping with data collection and Seth Miller for helping with
data entry. Special appreciation goes to Leanne Son Hing for her
comments on a previous draft.
Paul R. Nail
University of Central Arkansas
Helen C. Harton
University of Northern Iowa
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Correspondence should be sent to: Dr. Paul Nail, Dept. of
Psychology & Counseling, University of Central Arkansas, 201
Donaghey, Conway, AR 72035.