Skin tone bias is the inclination to perceive or behave towards members of a racial group based on the lightness or darkness of their skin. Previous research has demonstrated that the lightness or darkness of one's skin tone plays an important role in person perception. However, skin tone bias has yet to be fully explored in a political context. This study investigates the relationship between skin tone and the perception of Black political candidates. Eighty eight participants took a skin tone IAT and were asked to evaluate a newspaper article featuring a Black candidate, differing only in skin tone. The hypothesis that participants would rate the dark skinned candidate less positively than the light or medium skinned candidate was not confirmed.
Herndon, Lisa, "Voter Perception: Skin Tone Bias and the Electability of Black American Candidates" (2009). Honors Projects. Paper 18.
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