Why barack obama is black: A cognitive account of hypodescent

Jamin Halberstadt, Steven J. Sherman, Jeffrey Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

We propose that hypodescent-the assignment of mixed-race individuals to a minority group-is an emergent feature of basic cognitive processes of learning and categorization. According to aWe propose that hypodescent-the assignment of mixed-race individuals to a minority group-is an emergent feature of basic cognitive processes of learning and categorization. According to andividuals who possess a mixture of majority- and minority-group traits as minority-group members. Two experiments on face categorization, using both naturally occurring and manipulated minority groups, support this view, suggesting that hypodescent need not be the product of racist or political motivations, but can be sufficiently explained by an individual's learning history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • attention
  • category learning
  • face perception
  • hypodescent
  • minorities
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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