Lay theory of generalized prejudice moderates cardiovascular stress responses to racism for White women

Kimberly E. Chaney, Diana T. Sanchez, Mary S. Himmelstein, Sara K. Manuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on stigma by prejudice transfer has demonstrated that White women anticipate sexism when interacting with a racist individual due to a belief that prejudices stem from an underlying ideology of group inequality. The present research proposes that individuals’ lay theory of generalized prejudice (LTGP) varies across individuals and examines cardiovascular stress responses (high frequency heart rate variability [HF-HRV] and preejection period [PEP]). White women who held a lay theory of generalized prejudice and were evaluated by a White man with negative attitudes towards Black Americans demonstrated greater cardiovascular reactivity (decreases in parasympathetic activity [Studies 1 and 2] and shortened PEP [Study 2] from baseline to evaluation) than White women being evaluated by a neutral evaluator or who did not hold a lay theory of generalized prejudice. The present studies are the first to demonstrate cardiovascular stress responses to stigma by prejudice transfer and to highlight LTGP as a key individual difference in stigma by prejudice transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • cardiovascular stress
  • lay theory
  • stigma

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