CV/New Projects

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Below is a selection of projects that I’m currently working on…

“Defending our Space: Racial Group Position and Minority Responses to Outgroup Growth” (with Enya Kuo)

Prior work suggests that reports about Latino demographic growth cause Black and Asian Americans to express more exclusionary attitudes toward Latinos (Craig & Richeson, 2018). This project isolates one possible mechanism driving minorities’ reactions to outgroup growth—a sense of threat rooted in one’s position in America’s racial order. Racial groups in America are positioned along two dimensions: superiority and foreignness. For instance, Blacks  are perceived as low-status but relatively American, while Asians are stereotyped as relatively high-status but foreign (Zou & Cheryan, 2017). In Study 1, Black adults (N=409) who read about Latino growth redefining U.S. culture (vs. control) perceived Americans as a more foreign-infused category, which led them to express more exclusionary attitudes toward Latinos and immigration. In Study 2, Asian American adults (N=405) who read about Latino growth redefining the meaning of being an immigrant (vs. control) perceived immigrants as a more inferior category, which led them to express more opposition to Latinos and immigration. These results suggest that Black and Asian reactions to Latino growth are mediated by perceptions that Latinos are challenging each group’s advantaged position along each dimension—that Blacks are native-born and Asians are high-status.

“Category and Content in Ethnic Identity: Three Experiments on the Distinctiveness of Latinx ID” (with Bianca Vicuña)

How easily do ethnic identities form? Psychologists teach us that simply assigning people to categories promotes identification with groups, even when this happens arbitrarily. Yet political scientists suggest that the most durable and impactful identities are rooted in strong norms about how group members should behave toward others. We report three experiments that test whether the real-world introduction of a new ethnic category is enough to catalyze a distinct ethnic identity. We focus on the category Latinx, which proponents claim is a more gender-inclusive group than Latino or Hispanic. Our studies randomly assigned Latino adults to report attributes that make them a unique individual (control) versus Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx. Relative to our control, categorization as Latinx yields small, highly localized, and marginally reliable effects on political opinions. Although categorizing participants as Latinx nudges them to express modestly more support for pro-LGBTQ policies, it fails to impact feelings toward LGBTQ groups and other marginalized communities. These results imply that Latinx identity is not yet more distinctive because it implies politically liberal norms for group members, similar to Latino and Hispanic.