Date

1-4-2017 12:00 AM

Major

Psychology and Spanish

Department

Psychology

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project Advisor

Gary Wells

Project Advisor's Department

Psychology

Description

Political attitudes can change people’s implicit racial attitudes—that is, those who are conservative in their political views (i.e., Republicans) show more implicit racial bias (Burdein, 2007). In addition, racial bias is prevalent in parole decisions (Bynum and Huebner, 2008). The present study sought to determine whether political affiliation changed people’s decisions about whether to release a Caucasian or African American nonviolent offender. Participants provided general demographic information and indicated their economic and social political views. Next, they read four fictitious case files involving offenders who committed nonviolent crimes and were eligible for parole. Half of the cases featured an African American offender, and half a Caucasian offender. After reading the case file, participants indicated on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (“strongly agree”) to 6 (“strongly disagree”) how much they agreed with the four offenders’ eligibility for parole. Participants’ political identification was not a significant predictor of how much people agreed with the offenders eligibility for parole (β = -.082, p = 0.067). Rather, economic values and the nature of the specific case appeared to be the best predictors of parole decision (β = 0.169, p = 0.013; (β = 0.195, p <.001, respectively).

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Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Can political affiliation change how people evaluate parole decisions for Caucasians and African Americans?

Political attitudes can change people’s implicit racial attitudes—that is, those who are conservative in their political views (i.e., Republicans) show more implicit racial bias (Burdein, 2007). In addition, racial bias is prevalent in parole decisions (Bynum and Huebner, 2008). The present study sought to determine whether political affiliation changed people’s decisions about whether to release a Caucasian or African American nonviolent offender. Participants provided general demographic information and indicated their economic and social political views. Next, they read four fictitious case files involving offenders who committed nonviolent crimes and were eligible for parole. Half of the cases featured an African American offender, and half a Caucasian offender. After reading the case file, participants indicated on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (“strongly agree”) to 6 (“strongly disagree”) how much they agreed with the four offenders’ eligibility for parole. Participants’ political identification was not a significant predictor of how much people agreed with the offenders eligibility for parole (β = -.082, p = 0.067). Rather, economic values and the nature of the specific case appeared to be the best predictors of parole decision (β = 0.169, p = 0.013; (β = 0.195, p <.001, respectively).