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How Do People React to Stigma Acknowledgment? Race and Gender Acknowledgment in the Context of the 2008 Presidential Election


  • The authors thank Deborah Kashy, Norbert Kerr, and Joseph Cesario for their feedback on the manuscript. Further, we thank our anonymous reviewers for their excellent feedback on earlier drafts of the manuscript; and Joseph Bochinski, James Gabriels, and Emma Nyadimo for their assistance with data collection.

Nao Hagiwara Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Psychology, PO Box 842018, Richmond, VA 23284-2018. E-mail:


Some studies have found that acknowledging one's stigmatized social identity in an evaluative context leads to more favorable evaluations, whereas others have found that stigma acknowledgment can increase negative evaluations. The present study examined one potential factor (i.e., evaluators' attitudes toward social groups to which acknowledgers belong) that may moderate the relation between stigma acknowledgment and evaluations, in the context of race and gender acknowledgment in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Results indicated that acknowledgment of race, but not gender, led to more negative evaluations, particularly for high-prejudiced individuals. The findings highlight the importance of examining stigma acknowledgment effects from a Person × Situation perspective. Implications for advancing understanding of acknowledgment as a useful strategy in evaluative contexts are discussed.