The Obama Effect

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The ‘Obama effect’, a decrease of implicit anti-black evaluative bias after exposure to Barak Obama, first became apparent during the 2008 presidential primaries. Initially it was not clear that this reduction was in reaction to Obama specifically however, follow-up research later confirmed this. In 2011, a study was conducted which provided evidence of this effect at the beginning of his presidency. As the study was conducted some years later, researchers were faced with the challenge to revert participants back to their metal state before the Obama effect occurred. This was done by increasing implicit anti-black evaluative bias with the use of negative exemplars and then successfully decreasing it by exposing them to Obama, a positive exemplar. …show more content…
Novel to this study, the researchers also studied implicit racial stereotyping following the logic that Obama’s counter-stereotyipicality as an exemplar will cause a reduction in this variable. Also measured were participants’ explicit stereotypic perception and feelings about Obama. As proven necessary in previous research studying this effect, researchers first increased implicit attitudes undoing the Obama effect and also eliminating potential effects of other exposures. A sample of 105 undergraduate students completed a lexical decision task where they were primed with three negative exemplars which had been previously confirmed through pilot testing as negative and stereotypic. Next, participants completed a second lexical decision task which primed them with Obama, a positive exemplar. The effects on the dependent variables were measured using two implicit association tasks. Finally, participants completed self-report measures assessing four potential moderators: approval of Obama’s performance, participant political affiliation, perceptions of Obama’s stereotyipicality, and participant’s perceptions of Obama. The study found similarly lower levels of both dependent measures in the Obama condition. Further, an association between race and AIT where black …show more content…
This applies to everyday life because it supports the argument that there is a need for more positive representation in the media. By this I mean that presenting people to more positive exemplars with help to decrease bias and negative attitudes. It also, leads me to believe that the high levels of evaluative bias and stereotypes are due to the constant (and some would argue strategic) exposure of negative exemplars of minority groups. The study two result of no difference in whether or not the exemplar is stereotypic or not adds an interesting argument to the discussion of changing how minorities are seen in the media. There has been a recent call for action that there be less roles/portrayal of minorities in stereotypical ways however, these results show that even the stereotypic characters are helping to relieve bias and negative racial

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