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Journal Article

Citation

Johnson J, Lecci L. Br. J. Soc. Psychol. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, North Carolina, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Wiley Blackwell)

DOI

10.1111/bjso.12347

PMID

31693225

Abstract

White participants completed a measure of White guilt and read a passage describing a White police officer who shot an unarmed Black man. The victim's Facebook page information and picture indicated that he engaged in stereotypical or counterstereotypical activities in his everyday life. Participants then reported their empathic concern for the officer, perceptions of whether they thought the officer had racist motives for his actions, and their perceptions regarding the appropriate punishment for the officer. For the stereotypical victim, regardless of White guilt level, greater empathy for the officer was associated with lower perceived officer racism and less punitive responding towards the officer. In the counterstereotypical condition, the inverse association between officer empathy and the central outcome variables (perceived racism and punitive responding) was reduced for high White guilt participants. Thus, under certain conditions feelings of White guilt reduce the likelihood that empathic responding towards the officer leads to greater 'punitive leniency' for his harmful actions towards a disadvantaged group member.

© 2019 The British Psychological Society.


Language: en

Keywords

Black victim stereotypicality; White guilt; empathy; use of excessive force

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