Who is More Likely to “Not See Race”? Individual Differences in Racial Colorblindness

Yara Mekawi, Konrad Bresin, Carla D. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many Americans endorse a colorblind racial ideology, meaning they strive to “not see race” and emphasize sameness and equal distribution of resources across racial lines. Currently, there is an absence of studies examining the personality and individual difference correlates of racial colorblindness. The current study investigated the association between three different aspects of racial colorblindness (unawareness of racial privilege, unawareness of institutional discrimination, and unawareness of blatant racism) and the Big 5, empathy, and aggression in white undergraduates. Our results revealed two divergent patterns. Unawareness of racial privilege was related to lower openness and perspective taking, but more empathic concern, whereas unawareness of blatant racism and unawareness of institutional discrimination were related to lower agreeableness, perspective taking, and empathic concern. These results are discussed in relation to the broader literature on prejudice and personality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalRace and Social Problems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Agreeableness
  • Empathy
  • Prejudice
  • Racial colorblindness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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