Racial Colorblindness and Confidence in and Likelihood of Action to Address Prejudice

Jacqueline Yi, Nathan R. Todd, Yara Mekawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we examined the association between racial colorblindness and inaction to address prejudice. Conceptualized as a type of legitimizing ideology that maintains societal inequality, we hypothesized that colorblindness would be associated with less confidence in and lower likelihood of engaging in action to address prejudice. Our study examined the role of affective variables in explaining the link between colorblindness and inaction, as well as explored potential racial group differences. We used multigroup structural equation modeling analysis to test for measurement and structural invariance of our hypothesized model across White, Asian American, and Underrepresented racial minority (i.e., African American, Latinx American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and Multiracial students from Underrepresented groups) college students. In Study 1 (n = 1,125), we found that greater colorblindness was indirectly associated with less confidence in action through affective variables (e.g., intergroup empathy, and positive and negative emotions during intergroup interactions). In Study 2 (n = 1,356), we found that greater colorblindness was indirectly related to less likelihood of action through intergroup empathy. In both studies, we demonstrated measurement and structural invariance across racial groups, indicating that our hypothesized model functioned similarly across White, Underrepresented, and Asian American students. Our findings have implications for future research and practice to challenge colorblindness and to promote engagement in actions to reduce prejudice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-422
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Action to address prejudice
  • Colorblind racial ideology
  • Intergroup empathy
  • Legitimizing ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Racial Colorblindness and Confidence in and Likelihood of Action to Address Prejudice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this