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A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Children’s Implicit Attitudes toward White and Black Racial Outgroups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Science
Early online date14 May 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 14 May 2018


Initial theory and research examining children’s implicit racial attitudes suggest that an implicit preference favoring socially advantaged groups emerges early in childhood and remains stable across development (Dunham, Baron, & Banaji, 2008). In two studies, we examined the ubiquity of this theory by measuring non-Black minority and non-White majority children’s implicit racial attitudes toward White and Black racial outgroups in two distinct cultural contexts. In Study 1, non-Black minority children in an urban North American community with a large Black population showed an implicit pro-White (versus Black) bias in early childhood. Contrary to previous findings, the magnitude of this bias was lower among older children. In Study 2, Malay (majority) and Chinese (minority) children and adults in the Southeast Asian country of Brunei, with limited contact with White or Black peers, showed an implicit pro-White (versus Black) bias in early childhood. However, the magnitude of bias was greater for adults. Together, these findings support initial theorizing about the early development of implicit intergroup cognition, but suggest that context may affect these biases across development to a greater extent than was previously thought.

    Research areas

  • Prejudice development, implicit social cognition, race, social cognitive development, minority, cross-cultural

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