Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Cheryl L. Dickter

Committee Members

Jennifer Putzi

Joanna Schug


Due to its emphasis on diminishing race and avoiding racial discourse, color blind racial ideology has repeatedly been suggested to have negative consequences for modern day race relations. The current research examined the influence of color blindness, as well as the level of ambiguity of a prejudiced remark, on perceptions of a target confrontation. One hundred thirteen White participants read and responded to a scene depicting a White character committing a racial verbal microaggression of variable ambiguity, after which a target character confronted the comment. Results showed that the target confronter was perceived more negatively and her confrontation was less supported by participants with high color blindness, measured by Neville and colleagues' (2001) Color Blind Racial Attitudes Scale. Furthermore, participants with high color blindness tended to rate the White commenter less negatively than those with low color blindness. In addition, participants were affected by the microaggression's ambiguity regardless of color blindness, with a higher level of ambiguity predicting more negative perceptions of the Black confronter and the confrontation. Implications for how color blindness, as an accepted norm among White Americans that is endorsed across legal and educational settings, and insensitivity to ambiguous prejudice can facilitate Whites' complicity in racial inequality are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

Included in

Psychology Commons