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Moral Judgments of Racial Passing

December 15, 2015

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The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) has awarded Assistant Professor of Psychology Diana Leonard a grant from the Grants-in-Aid program. These funds will support Dr. Leonard’s new collaborative research project, “Moral Judgments of Racial Passing: Role of perceiver ideology and consequences for social distancing behavior.” Dr. Leonard will collaborate with Lewis & Clark undergraduates and Dr. Paul Conway at Florida State University to accomplish this research. This project will address a current gap in the scientific literature on racial perceptions, and is timely: conversations about racial passing–presenting oneself as a race other than one’s own–have been highlighted in the national media lately. Dr. Leonard’s project will explore moral judgments of racial passers, and how these judgments are shaped by two ideological factors: “social dominance orientation” and “endorsement of colorblind ideology.” This research will ultimately be extended to investigate how racial passers’ perceived motivations and degree of immersion in another racial identity shape judgments of their behavior. More about Dr. Leonard’s research is available here. (December 2015)

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