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Lay beliefs about who can bridge the Black-White racial gap during interracial exchanges


Social Psychological and Personality Science


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Wilton L S;Rattan A;Abrams S;Genao-Perez Y


Publication Year



For group discussions about fraught racial topics between Black and White Americans to be beneficial, conversation participants must view the person who facilitates as effective at communicating both the perspectives of Black and White Americans. We identify a biracial advantage in this domain. In three studies (total N=710), we tested how a facilitator’s race affects their perceived effectiveness in communicating with both Black and White Americans. Both Black and White participants expected Black and White monoracial facilitators to more effectively engage with racial ingroup than racial outgroup members. However, they expected Biracial facilitators to be equally effective in communicating with both Black and White groups. Both Black and White participants also expected biracial facilitators to use productive learning strategies (perspective taking, showing empathy) more than White facilitators, and either more than or equally to Black facilitators, suggesting one reason why people expect biracial facilitators to perform well in these moments.



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