Friends With Moral Credentials: Minority Friendships Reduce Attributions of Racism for Majority Group Members Who Make Conceivably Racist Statements
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People commonly reference minority friendships when expressing conceivably prejudiced attitudes. The prevalence of this strategy suggests a widespread belief that having minority friends makes one look less racist, but to date, there is little research demonstrating whether or not this is the case. White and Asian participants were presented with a Facebook profile depicting a White target who posted an anti-Asian statement. Being depicted with Asian friends (Study 1) or even verbally claiming that they had Asian friends (Study 2) reduced attributions of racism irrespective of whether they were being evaluated by White or Asian observers. Furthermore, the presence of Asian friends made the conceivably racist comments seem relatively benign, and observers were less offended and upset by them. The data suggest that minority friendships can partially offset costs associated with expressing prejudice.
Social Psychological and Personality Science
Psychology not elsewhere classified