Invisible at the Intersection: The Influence of Prototypical Beliefs on Group Identification in Black Women
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Black women, being non-prototypical of both their social groups (WOMAN and BLACK), experience a unique form of discrimination referred to as psychological invisibility. We aimed to understand how prototypical beliefs impact Black women’s identification with their gendered and racial ingroups. 251 Black and white female participants completed a speeded categorization prototypicality task, which measured the strength of their belief that femininity is associated with whiteness. We also measured their implicit identification with WOMAN using the Brief Implicit Association Test, along with their explicit identification with WOMAN, BLACK/WHITE, and BLACK WOMAN/WHITE WOMAN. We found that along all the explicit identification measures, Black women reported significantly stronger identification than white women. We also saw that among Black women who had a high implicit identification with WOMAN and reflected strong prototypical beliefs, there was a trend towards explicitly suppressing their Black identity and over-emphasizing their white identity. These findings reflect the way prototypical beliefs about whiteness being associated with femininity impact Black women and reveal one of the ways psychological invisibility contributes to a Black woman’s self conception.
Student honors thesis / Open Access
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