Event Title

Race Predicts Identification, Stereotyping, and Perception of Black Women’s Hairstyles.

Poster Number

42

Presenter Information

Malyn V. Pope 3970653Follow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Merry Sleigh

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom

Start Date

22-4-2016 2:15 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 4:15 PM

Description

Previous research indicates black women whose features more closely align with Eurocentric beauty standards are rated as more attractive. Attractiveness usually results in more desirable employment outcomes. Many elements of attractiveness have been studied, hairstyles in particular have not. Thus, we examined whether a black woman’s hairstyle impacted perceptions of her personality and earning potential. Other variables of interest were if race or identification with one’s race/ethnicity would influence perceptions of the hairstyles. Participants were randomly presented with an image of a black woman with one of four hairstyles and asked to assess the target’s probable personality traits, occupation, and income. Next, participants responded to questions about their own acceptance of stereotyping behavior and identification within their race. Results revealed race itself was a better predictor of how participants perceived the woman. Black and white participants evaluated the target’s competence levels differently. Black participants were more likely to identify with their own race than white participants. There was a positive relationship between identification with one’s own race and their acceptability of stereotyping behavior. The findings of this study support the notion that black participants are more likely to identify with their own race because of their outgroup status according to social identity theory. Identification with one’s one race did not predict perceptions of the woman’s personality or earning potential; race itself did predict perceptions of competence associated with the hairstyles. These findings provide new evidence to suggest hair may be yet another factor in cross-race perceptions and expectations.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2016

Comments

McNair Scholar

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Apr 22nd, 2:15 PM Apr 22nd, 4:15 PM

Race Predicts Identification, Stereotyping, and Perception of Black Women’s Hairstyles.

Richardson Ballroom

Previous research indicates black women whose features more closely align with Eurocentric beauty standards are rated as more attractive. Attractiveness usually results in more desirable employment outcomes. Many elements of attractiveness have been studied, hairstyles in particular have not. Thus, we examined whether a black woman’s hairstyle impacted perceptions of her personality and earning potential. Other variables of interest were if race or identification with one’s race/ethnicity would influence perceptions of the hairstyles. Participants were randomly presented with an image of a black woman with one of four hairstyles and asked to assess the target’s probable personality traits, occupation, and income. Next, participants responded to questions about their own acceptance of stereotyping behavior and identification within their race. Results revealed race itself was a better predictor of how participants perceived the woman. Black and white participants evaluated the target’s competence levels differently. Black participants were more likely to identify with their own race than white participants. There was a positive relationship between identification with one’s own race and their acceptability of stereotyping behavior. The findings of this study support the notion that black participants are more likely to identify with their own race because of their outgroup status according to social identity theory. Identification with one’s one race did not predict perceptions of the woman’s personality or earning potential; race itself did predict perceptions of competence associated with the hairstyles. These findings provide new evidence to suggest hair may be yet another factor in cross-race perceptions and expectations.