Post-racial America?: racialization and polarization of policy-related judgments following the 2008 U.S. presidential election Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Lundberg, Kristjen B.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • The promise of a post-racial America signaled by the 2008 election of President Obama has gone unfulfilled. Using representative samples of the American electorate, Study 1 confirmed that those with stronger explicit and implicit anti-Black attitudes before the 2008 election voiced more negative policy-related judgments in July 2009 (racialization hypothesis). Study 2 demonstrated that the difference in policy-related judgments between high-prejudice and low-prejudice respondents was increasing over time between May 2009 and July 2010 (polarization hypothesis). Both the racialization and polarization of policy-related judgments were mediated by more negative evaluations of Obama. Study 3 suggested that the particular pattern of mediation may be unique to the Obama administration. Particularly noteworthy is that the measure of policy-related judgments used refers to issues (e.g., the economy, health care) that naively should be uninfluenced by racial attitudes. These findings suggest that racial attitudes continue to play a substantial role in today's political climate.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Psychology (Social).
  • Payne, B. Keith
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This work has no parents.