We would like to thank Margaret Shih for her helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. In addition, we would like to thank Michael Norton for providing the candidate materials.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose Biracial Identity: The Effect of Biracial Disclosure on Perceiver Evaluations and Target Responses
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 65, Issue 1, pages 129–149, March 2009
How to Cite
Sanchez, D. T. and Bonam, C. M. (2009), To Disclose or Not to Disclose Biracial Identity: The Effect of Biracial Disclosure on Perceiver Evaluations and Target Responses. Journal of Social Issues, 65: 129–149. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2008.01591.x
- Issue published online: 21 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2009
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.