Skin tone, crime news, and social reality judgments: Priming the stereotype of the dark and dangerous black criminal

Travis L. Dixon, Keith B. Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

An experiment examined the extent to which viewers' emotional discomfort with a crime story and perceptions and memorability of a perpetrator and victim could be influenced by the race and skin tone of the perpetrator portrayed in a newscast. Participants were exposed either to a White, light-skinned Black, medium-skinned Black, or dark-skinned Black perpetrator. In addition, participants provided self-reports of their news viewing habits. Results revealed that heavy television news viewers were more likely than light viewers to feel emotional discomfort after being exposed to the dark-skinned Black perpetrator. Heavy news viewers also had favorable perceptions of the victim when the perpetrator was Black, regardless of skin tone. Results also indicated that all participants, regardless of prior news exposure, found the perpetrator more memorable when the perpetrator was a dark-skinned Black male. The methodological and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1570
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Skin tone, crime news, and social reality judgments: Priming the stereotype of the dark and dangerous black criminal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this