To disclose or not to disclose biracial identity: The effect of biracial disclosure on perceiver evaluations and target responses

Diana Sanchez, Courtney M. Bonam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Are biracial people perceived more negatively than their monoracial counterparts? Across two studies, we compared ratings of warmth, competence, and minority scholarship worthiness for biracial (Study 1: Black/White, Study 2: Asian/White), White, and minority (Study 1: Black, Study 2: Asian) college applicants. Findings suggest that both biracial applicants were perceived as colder and sometimes less competent than both White and corresponding minority applicants. Moreover, biracial people were also perceived as less qualified for minority scholarships than other racial minorities, which is partially explained by penalties to warmth and competence. Study 3 shows that disclosing one's biracial identity makes biracial people vulnerable to negative feedback. Taken together, these studies suggest that biracial people who disclose their biracial identity experience bias from perceivers and may be more vulnerable to that bias because of the personal nature of racial disclosure. Findings are discussed considering the stereotype content model (Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2007), cultural stereotypes about biracial people (Jackman, Wagner, & Johnson, 2001), and the costs of disclosing devalued identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-149
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 3 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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