Symbolic Racism in Candidate Evaluation: An Experiment

Sophie M. Colleau, Kevin Glynn, Steven Lybrand, Richard M. Merelman, Paula Mohan, James E. Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The authors explored the symbolic racism construct to determine whether discrimination in the evaluation of political candidates can be attributed to a combination of traditional values and antiblack affect as suggested by Sears. Using an experimental design where candidate race was manipulated in three conditions, they found that differential racial attributions do operate in the evaluation of political candidates. Contrary to expectations, however, no antiblack affect was found to be at work in the evaluation of the black candidate. Findings are discussed in the framework of contemporary assumptions of research on racial reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-402
Number of pages23
JournalPolitical Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


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