Understanding Bias toward Latinos: Discrimination, Dimensions of Difference, and Experience of Exclusion


  • Preparation of this article was supported by NSF grant BCS-0613218 awarded to the first author.

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to John F. Dovidio, Department of Psychology, Yale University, P.O. Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520 [e-mail: john.dovidio@yale.edu].


White–Black relations have historically been the defining form of intergroup relations in the study of prejudice and discrimination. The present article suggests that there are limitations to applying this model to understanding bias toward other groups and proposes that a comprehensive view of the dynamics of the Anglos’ bias toward Latinos requires consideration of the distinctive elements of this form of intergroup relations. In four empirical studies, we experimentally document discrimination against Latinos (Study 1), explore the potential dimensions that underlie bias against Latinos (Study 2), and examine the effect of a particular social identity cue, accentedness, on perceptions of acceptance and belongingness of Latinos and members of other groups (Studies 3 and 4). These studies consider general processes of prejudice and identify how particular facets of bias against Latinos can shape their experiences and, taken together, illustrate how understanding bias against Latinos can reciprocally inform contemporary theories of prejudice.