Subgroup prejudice based on skin color among Hispanics in the United States and Latin America

E. L. UHLMANN, N. Dasgupta, A. Elgueta, A.G. Greenwald, J. Swanson

Social Cognition

June 2002, vol. 20, n°3, pp.197-224

Departments: Management & Human Resources

Two experiments examined the influence of skin color on American Hispanics' and Chileans' attitudes towards their ethnic ingroup and toward subgroups within their ingroup. When implicit attitudes were examined, both American Hispanics and Chileans expressed strong preference for the lighter complexioned subgroup (Blanco in Spanish) over the darker complexioned subgroup (Moreno in Spanish) within their ethnic ingroup. Implicit preference for Blancos was evident among self-identified Moreno as well as Blanco participants in both countries, suggesting that the desirability of light skin apparently supersedes national boundaries and can reverse the ubiquitious ingroup favoritism effect usually obtained in intergroup research. When participants' implicit attitudes towards Hispanics versus Caucasians were assessed, national differences emerged: Chileans expressed implicit preference for Caucasians over Hispanics whereas American Hispanics did not favor either group. Self-report measures of attitudes revealed less consistent evidence of prejudice and preference based on skin color.