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Michael I. Norton, Samuel R. Sommers

Abstract Although some have heralded recent political and cultural developments as signaling the arrival of a postracial era in America, several legal and social controversies regarding ‘‘reverse racism’’ highlight Whites’ increasing concern about anti-White bias. We show that this emerging belief reflects Whites’ view of racism as a zero-sum game, such that decreases in perceived bias against Blacks over the past six decades are associated with increases in perceived bias against Whites—a relationship not observed in Blacks’ perceptions. Moreover, these changes in Whites’ conceptions of racism are extreme enough that Whites have now come to view anti-White bias as a bigger societal problem than anti-Black bias.

Keywords racism, zero-sum game, bias, affirmative action

Perspectives on Psychological Science 6(3) 215–218
doi: 10.1177/1745691611406922
http://ase.tufts.edu/psychology/sommerslab/documents/raceinternortonsommers2011.pdf

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