“White” or “European American”? Self-identifying labels influence majority group members' interethnic attitudes

Kimberly Rios Morrison, Adrienne H. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiculturalism (i.e., the recognition and celebration of cultural differences) has many potential benefits for society, including reduced prejudice among nonminorities and increased psychological well-being among ethnic minorities. Yet nonminorities generally tend to resist multiculturalism more than do minorities and believe that it is irrelevant to them. Two studies were conducted to examine why and under what conditions this is the case. In both studies, nonminority participants were randomly assigned to mark their race/ethnicity as either 'White' or 'European American' on a demographic survey, before answering questions about their interethnic attitudes. Results demonstrated that nonminorities primed to think of themselves as White (versus European American) were subsequently less supportive of multiculturalism and more racially prejudiced, due to decreases in identification with ethnic minorities. Implications for how to improve nonminorities' attitudes toward multiculturalism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Color blindness
  • Diversity
  • Identification
  • Interethnic ideologies
  • Multiculturalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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