Out-group Positivity Bias Overshadows Afrocentricity Bias

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Faculty of Arts and Sciences




Afrocentricity bias occurs when Black individuals with dark skin, wide nose, and large lips are associated with certain negative and positive traits (e.g., criminality and athleticism) compared to those with Eurocentric features (i.e., light skin, narrow nose, thin lips). In racial bias research, inhibition of biased responses is common. The current study employed positive stereotypes associated with Blacks and Whites (physical and verbal ability, respectively) in order to link implicit behavior (visual attention) to explicit behavior. Participants selected, from an array of two faces, the best candidate for a team requiring either physical strength or verbal ability. Stereotypes did not affect visual behavior and choice; rather, Afrocentric features did. Visual attention to highly Afrocentric Black faces was greater when with White faces. In terms of choice, when present with two Black faces, the more Eurocentric face was more likely to be selected. Selections did not vary for White and highly Afrocentric Black candidate pairs. Eurocentric Black faces were selected more often when paired with a White candidate. Trait rating data showed that highly Afrocentric features resulted in higher ratings of agility and strength, whereas Eurocentric features resulted in higher ratings for verbal and grammatical skill. Although participants rated Blacks as predicted by Afrocentricity Bias, their behavior did not reflect the bias.