Attentional Bias and Threat in Response to Skin Tone Variation
Chu, Michael C.
- Previous research has demonstrated attentional bias towards Black faces using the dot-probe paradigm among White participants. Research has also found that skin tone is a sufficient cue to activate within-race categorization. This current study used the dot-probe paradigm to investigate attentional bias towards Black faces with dark (high Afrocentric feature) and light (low Afrocentric feature) sk... read morein tone. In a randomized within-subjects design, 46 undergraduates completed this dot-probe task. Attentional bias was indexed using response time. In addition, physiological measures including corrugator activity, electrodermal activity, and heart rate were recorded to index threat-related responding. Participants also completed the external motivation to respond without prejudice (EM) scale to test whether EM moderates attentional bias to dark versus light skin tone. Contrary to predictions, this study suggested that the long presentation of various Black faces did not elicit any attentional bias or threat responses among individuals regardless of their EM. There was, however, a trend of high-EM individuals associated with avoiding dark-skinned Black faces. The null findings of attentional bias and threat response to the conditions may suggest that skin tone variation may not be a strong cue to elicit attentional bias.read less