Requests for reprints should be sent to David Rosenfield, Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas 75275.
Whites' ethnocentrism and their attributions for the behavior of blacks: A motivational bias1
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 643–657, December 1979
How to Cite
Greenberg, J. and Rosenfield, D. (1979), Whites' ethnocentrism and their attributions for the behavior of blacks: A motivational bias. Journal of Personality, 47: 643–657. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1979.tb00214.x
The authors wish to thank Robert Folger and Walter G. Stephan for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received August 11, 1978
Previous research has shown that people make more derogatory attributions for the behavior of outgroup members than for the behavior of ingroup members. However, these results may be due merely to a cultural stereotype of the outgroup rather than to ethnocentrism (which would entail dislike for members of the outgroup). To examine the effect of ethnocentrism on attributions, irrespective of the cultural stereotype, and to examine whether people who differ in ethnocentrism also differ in their attributions for whites and blacks, high and low ethnocentric whites made attributions for the success and failure of black and white actors on a task which required an ability that was outside the scope of the cultural stereotype of blacks, i.e., ESP ability. Examination of these attributions revealed that the more ethnocentric the subjects were, the more they tended to give whites greater credit for success than blacks, and the more they tended to give whites less blame for failure than blacks. These results were discussed in terms of their implications for the persistence of prejudice and for the effects of motivations on attributions for the behavior of others.