Title

Feeling Threatened about the Future: Whites' Emotional Reactions to Anticipated Ethnic Demographic Changes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

In many Western countries, the proportion of the population that is White will drop below 50% within the next century. Two experiments examined how anticipation of these future ethnic demographics affects current intergroup processes. In Study 1, White Americans who viewed actual demographic projections for a time when Whites are no longer a numerical majority felt more angry toward and fearful of ethnic minorities than Whites who did not view future projections. Whites who viewed the future projections also felt more sympathy for their ingroup than Whites in the control condition. In Study 2, the authors replicated the effects for intergroup emotions with a sample of White Canadians. White Canadians who thought about a future in which Whites were a numerical minority appraised the ingroup as more threatened, which mediated the effect of condition on intergroup emotions. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for race relations in increasingly diverse societies. © 2012 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

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