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Q: Survey technique: are your neighbours racist? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Survey technique: are your neighbours racist?
Category: Science > Social Sciences
Asked by: jeremymiles-ga
List Price: $3.01
Posted: 16 Jan 2003 05:50 PST
Expires: 15 Feb 2003 05:50 PST
Question ID: 144167
Some time ago, I remember reading of a technique to assess the levels
of racism in an area.  If you ask "Do you have racist attitudes?"
people say no.  If you ask "Are your neighbours racist?", social
desirability effects do not occur, and people are more likely to say
yes.  However, I cannot find a reference to this technique (and I have
searched using Google, and academic publication databases).  All I am
after then, is a citation to a published academic article which
describes or uses this technique.
If I were a researcher (hold on, I am!) I wouldn't look for this
unless you actually know, or at least have a good idea of where to

Clarification of Question by jeremymiles-ga on 20 Jan 2003 13:33 PST
Just to clarify: all I want/need is a citation to an academic article.
 (I don't even want your search strategy. :)
Subject: Re: Survey technique: are your neighbours racist?
Answered By: peggy_bill-ga on 22 Jan 2003 13:53 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello jeremymiles,

I have found a citation that should fit your needs.

Self-reports of racist attitudes for oneself and for others by DA
Saucier.  In PSYCHOLOGICA BELGICA, 42 (1-2): 99-105 2002.

Individuals are often motivated to avoid appearing prejudiced. In this
study, it was hypothesized that participants would indicate that other
people would be more likely than themselves to agree with racist
arguments. Participants read a series of positive and negative
arguments about African Americans and rated the extent to which they
agreed with the arguments and how convincing they found the arguments
to be. Participants also rated how much the "average person" would
agree with and be convinced by the arguments. The hypotheses were
supported. Participants overwhelmingly reported that, compared to
themselves, the "average person" would agree more with and be
convinced more by the racist arguments. These results suggest that
individuals may justify their own prejudice by believing that other
people are more prejudiced, allowing the individuals to maintain
nonprejudiced self-concepts despite their own racist attitudes.

I hope this helps.
Google Answers Researcher
jeremymiles-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Eccellent, thanks.

Subject: Re: Survey technique: are your neighbours racist?
From: neilzero-ga on 16 Jan 2003 20:02 PST
My confidence in polls and surveys is decreaseing. Are your neighbors
a racist? How many of your co-workers are racists? seems almost
meaningless to me. Facial expression, recent experiences of the person
being asked, and adjendas they may have can change the answer as can
minor wording differences and what you say before you ask the
questions. What does it mean if you conclude that 9% of the adult
population is a raciest? Am I a raciest if I don't want to see bigger
set-asides, quotas, and penelties for failure the meet the goals
demanded by some buearuacrat?   Neil

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