White selves: Conceptualizing and measuring a dominant-group identity

Eric D. Knowles, Kaiping Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article addresses the nature and measurement of White racial identity. White identification is conceptualized as an automatic association between the self and the White ingroup; this association is fostered through social exposure to non-Whites and serves to link self- and ingroup evaluations. Four studies validated a measure of White identification against criteria derived from this model. In Study 1, the White Identity Centrality Implicit Association Test (WICIAT) predicted response latencies in a task gauging self-ingroup merging. In Study 2, the WICIAT correlated with census data tapping exposure to non-Whites. In Studies 3 and 4, the WICIAT predicted phenomena associated with the linking of self-and ingroup evaluations: identity-related biases in intergroup categorization (Study 3) and self-evaluative emotional reactions to ingroup transgressions (Study 4). Together, the findings shed light on the antecedents and consequences of White identity, an often-neglected individual difference construct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-241
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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