Aversive racism in Britain: the use of inadmissible evidence in legal decisions
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 437–448, July/August 2005
How to Cite
Hodson, G., Hooper, H., Dovidio, J. F. and Gaertner, S. L. (2005), Aversive racism in Britain: the use of inadmissible evidence in legal decisions. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 35: 437–448. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.261
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2005
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 NOV 2004
- Manuscript Received: 5 NOV 2004
The aversive racism framework (S. L. Gaertner & J. F. Dovidio, 1986) suggests that bias against Blacks is most likely to be expressed by Whites when it can be explained or justified along non-racial grounds. The present experiment adopted a 2 (Evidence: admissible vs. inadmissible) × 2 (Defendant Race: White vs. Black) between subjects design, asking White participants, whose self-reported prejudice was assessed, to judge a legal case. As predicted, increased guilt ratings and longer sentencing recommendations were forwarded for the Black (vs. White) defendant only when DNA evidence linking the defendant to the crime had previously been ruled inadmissible. This result was not qualified by self-report racial attitudes. The implications for evidence inadmissibility in interracial contexts are considered, along with the repercussions of finding experimental evidence of aversive racism outside of North America. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.