Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in European Journal of Social Psychology 36 (2006), pp. 435–450; doi 10.1002/ejsp.344 Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Used by permission


This research tested the hypothesis that the responding of high, but not low, prejudice White Americans would vary as a function of manipulations of powerful people’s attention to subordinate strengths that facilitate goal strivings versus weaknesses that block goals. To examine this possibility, White participants were assigned to leader roles and an interaction with a low power Black “employee” was staged. Consistent with predictions, findings revealed that high prejudice White participants who were attentive to subordinate strengths and goal strivings versus subordinate weaknesses and blocked goals, evaluated and treated a Black employee more positively. The responding of low prejudice participants did not, however, vary as a function of attention to strengths and goal facilitation versus weaknesses and blocked goals. Findings suggest that stereotypes of the groups to which low power people belong influence powerful people’s judgment and behavior when stereotypes are endorsed by powerful people and match powerful people’s goals.