Disgust Toward Interracial Couples: Mixed Feelings About Black–White Race Mixing

Shoko Watanabe, Sean M. Laurent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Three studies further explored Skinner and Hudac's (2017) hypothesis that interracial couples elicit disgust. Using verbal and face emotion measures (Study 1), some participants reported more disgust toward interracial couples than same-race White and Black couples. In Study 2, only people higher in disgust sensitivity tended to “guess” that rapidly presented images of interracial (vs. White) couples were disgusting. Study 3 used a novel image classification paradigm that presented couples side-by-side with neutral or disgusting images. Participants took longer to decide whether target images were disgusting only when interracial (vs. White) couples appeared next to neutral images. Greater sexual disgust heightened this difference. Mixed evidence suggesting an association of disgust with Black couples also emerged in Studies 2 and 3. Thus, the disgust–interracial romance association may only emerge under certain conditions, and the current research offers limited support for the hypothesis that disgust response is exclusively linked to interracial unions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • disgust
  • interracial romance
  • person-perception
  • racial bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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