Master of Arts (M.A.)
Cheryl L Dickter
Individuals of multiracial descent are often categorized and perceived as belonging to the socially subordinate (i.e. non-White) racial group, according to the rule of hypodescent, a product of the history of racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. This paper describes two studies of racial categorization which illustrate the importance of hypodescent in the social categorization of ambiguous multiracial targets. Hypodescent was observed among both Black and White observers (Studies 1 and 2), suggesting that societally enforced rules about racial categories affect individuals' decisions about the category membership of others. in Study 2, hypodescent was measured using a self-report questionnaire as well as a behavioral dual categorization procedure, but these measures were not found to correlate. Study 2 also illustrated that hypodescent may be stronger for Black-White multiracials than for Asian-White multiracials in behavioral, but not self-report, measures. Both studies provide mixed evidence regarding the influence of several previously-described personality variables and their relationship to the use of hypodescent. These findings are discussed in the context of broader social cognitive processes and the downstream application of stereotypes associated with marginalized racial categories.
© The Author
Preda, Matthew Steven, "Measuring Hypodescent in the Social Categorization of Multiracial Targets" (2018). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1550153980.
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