Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination: 1 - Confronting intergroup bias: Predicted and actual responses to racism and sexism

Elsevier, Confronting Prejudice and Discrimination, The Science of Changing Minds and Behaviors, 2019, Pages 3-28
Kerry Kawakami, Francine Karmali, and Elysia Vaccarino

In the present chapter, we examine predicted and actual personal responses to racism and sexism by targets of bias and by nontarget group witnesses. We summarize research related to forecasted responses when imagining intergroup bias first, and then we turn to actual responses. Our review indicates that people often overestimate the extent to which they will be impacted by acts of prejudice. We explore possible reasons for this discrepancy between predicted and actual reactions and why people often mispredict how sexist and racist actions will affect their emotions and behaviors. Our focus, however, is on potential explanations for why people often do not confront bias. Finally, possible strategies to motivate and encourage direct confrontation are discussed as well as the repercussions of not taking action.