Title

A Tale of Three Skin Tones: When Brown Skin Determines Citizenship and Immigration Policy

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

Across two experiments we examine how skin tone influences social categorizations involving immigration and legal status, and explore whether specific patterns of categorization predict support for stringent immigration policies. In Study 1, we presented undergraduate participants (N=209) with photographs of people with light vs dark skin and asked them to rate the likelihood, 1(Extremely unlikely) to 5(Extremely likely), that the individual was an immigrant. Supporting our hypothesis of a connection between skin tone and perceived immigration status, participants rated individuals with dark(vs light) skin as more likely to be immigrants, F(1,97)=11.59, p<.001, n2=.11. In Study 2 (data collection ongoing), we further investigated the influence of skin tone on social categorization, showing participants computerized images of the same man with either brown, white, or black skin. Participants rated the likelihood of that individual being an immigrant and undocumented. Additionally, participants rated their support for several hostile immigration policies (Marshall & Shapiro, 2018) using a 7-point Likert scale. We expect that participants will rate individuals with brown skin as more likely to be immigrants and undocumented than individuals with white/black skin. In addition, we expect that participants who identify the individual with brown skin as more likely to be an immigrant and undocumented will be more inclined to support stringent immigration policies. As highlighted by recent events, associating skin tone and immigration status can have dangerous implications (e.g., being stopped to provide identification, run over with a car for "looking Mexcian").

Faculty Mentor(s)

Tonya Buchanan

Department/Program

Psychology

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May 18th, 12:00 PM

A Tale of Three Skin Tones: When Brown Skin Determines Citizenship and Immigration Policy

Ellensburg

Across two experiments we examine how skin tone influences social categorizations involving immigration and legal status, and explore whether specific patterns of categorization predict support for stringent immigration policies. In Study 1, we presented undergraduate participants (N=209) with photographs of people with light vs dark skin and asked them to rate the likelihood, 1(Extremely unlikely) to 5(Extremely likely), that the individual was an immigrant. Supporting our hypothesis of a connection between skin tone and perceived immigration status, participants rated individuals with dark(vs light) skin as more likely to be immigrants, F(1,97)=11.59, p<.001, n2=.11. In Study 2 (data collection ongoing), we further investigated the influence of skin tone on social categorization, showing participants computerized images of the same man with either brown, white, or black skin. Participants rated the likelihood of that individual being an immigrant and undocumented. Additionally, participants rated their support for several hostile immigration policies (Marshall & Shapiro, 2018) using a 7-point Likert scale. We expect that participants will rate individuals with brown skin as more likely to be immigrants and undocumented than individuals with white/black skin. In addition, we expect that participants who identify the individual with brown skin as more likely to be an immigrant and undocumented will be more inclined to support stringent immigration policies. As highlighted by recent events, associating skin tone and immigration status can have dangerous implications (e.g., being stopped to provide identification, run over with a car for "looking Mexcian").

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/COTS/103