Threatened selves and differential prejudice expression by White and Black perceivers

Jenessa R. Shapiro, Stephen A. Mistler, Steven Neuberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previous theorizing suggests that often-stigmatized individuals may be just as likely, if not more likely, than infrequently stigmatized individuals to protect self-regard by derogating members of low-status groups after receiving negative feedback from high-status others. Often-stigmatized individuals, however, can discount criticism from these high-status others as reflecting prejudice, thereby making outgroup derogation unnecessary as an esteem-protective strategy. Replicating past research, White participants in Experiment 1 expressed prejudices after receiving negative feedback from a White evaluator; as predicted, however, Black participants did not. In Experiment 2, participants instead received negative feedback from Black evaluators (evaluators more likely to threaten Black participants' self-regard). Here, contrary to previous theorizing, Black participants expressed prejudices, not toward another low-status group, but toward high-status Whites. In all, findings reveal flaws in previous assumptions that frequently stigmatized individuals may be especially prone to devalue lower-status others after rejection or negative feedback from members of higher-status groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-473
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Intergroup interaction
  • Prejudice expression
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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