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Experimental Studies of Negro-White Relationships SES

Katz, Irwin
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Achievement, Black Achievement, Racial Attitudes, Racial Relations, Social Behavior, Socioeconomic Status (SES)


This paper reviews past experimental studies of relationships between Black and White Americans. The dearth of behavioral studies (as compared to studies of racial attitudes) is noted. Three types of psychological factors--self-interest, cognitive- emotional predispositions, and social conformity pressure--which all seem to be important determinants of White American behavior toward Black-Americans, are each discussed briefly. On the whole, the review presents only studies involving a) social behavior or social perception variables and b) at least a modicum of experimental control. The studies are considered separately according to whether their main focus was on White or Black American subjects. Among White American subjects, topics reviewed are interracial contact and attitude change, attitudes as predictors of behavior, reinforcer effectiveness of Black American adults, intimate biracial contact, White American behavior in biracial work groups, and ambivalence, ambiguity and response amplification. Among Black American subjects the topics reviewed are social reinforcer effectiveness of Black and White American experimenters, emotional stress and inhibition in biracial peer interactions, induced stress in two racial environments, and variations of race of norm, race of tester, and probability of success.

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