The psychological legacy of barack obama: The impact of the first african-American president of the United States on individuals' social cognition

Luis M. Rivera, E. Ashby Plant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The election of Barack Obama as the first African American to be President of the United States was a momentous event. Because the U.S. constituency (including its majority, Whites) elected an individual who defied history and negative stereotypes, pundits concluded that the U.S. had entered a new "post-racial" era. Indeed, social cognition scientists adopted the "Obama effect" to classify the beneficial consequences of Obama as a single African-American exemplar on affect, cognition, and behavior, but these effects have been challenged. As we come to the conclusion of Obama's presidency, this special issue revisits the Obama effect. Six empirical articles collectively examine the factors that create the Obama effect in the first place, and the boundary conditions of the Obama effect ameliorating stereotyping and prejudice and benefiting the social cognition of African Americans themselves. Furthermore, each article provides insight into the potential theoretical and practical implications of Obama's legacy for psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Ethnicity
  • Obama
  • Prejudice
  • Race
  • Self

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