This study examined how peer pressure influences participant’s attribution of blame to Black or White youth committing a crime. Participants read one of four scenarios in which a Black or White male (Kevin), who was or was not under peer pressure, stole a bicycle. To measure the amount of blame participants assigned to the adolescent, they completed a blame attribution inventory. Participants also completed a personality scale to measure their perceptions of the adolescent’s personal characteristics. To avoid being perceived as prejudiced, the researchers predicted participants would blame the White adolescent more than the Black adolescent for stealing the bicycle. Additionally, the researchers predicted that participants would blame the adolescent under peer pressure less than the adolescent not under peer pressure, regardless of race. Finally, the researchers hypothesized that participants would blame the Black adolescent less than the White adolescent in the presence of peer pressure. As predicted, participants blamed the White adolescent more than the Black adolescent, regardless of peer pressure and blamed the adolescent less when under peer pressure, regardless of race. Additionally, in the peer pressure condition, the White adolescent was blamed more than the Black adolescent. There was no interaction between the adolescent’s race and peer pressure.
Scott, Samantha; Miller, Chloe; Kelly, Leah; Richman, Maya; and Park, Lauren
"“See, I’m not racist!”: Aversive Racism, Peer Pressure, and Blaming Adolescents,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 2:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol2/iss1/3