The Effect of Status and Race on Role-Taking Accuracy

  • Love, Tony (PI)

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Abstract I propose an experiment to test the effect of status on the relationship between race and role-taking accuracy. In prior research, I found that women who had never met were significantly more accurate role-takers with each other than men who came to the laboratory as friends. In a follow-up study, I found that role-taking accuracy is not directly connected to gender but, rather, an effect of status. Gendered role-taking differences disappeared when women occupied high status roles in interactive groups, indicating that variations in roletaking accuracy are based on the need for individuals of lower status to predict the behavior of individuals with higher status (Love & Davis, 2014). In other words, while women are better role takers, this is not a sex-specific ability; it is prompted by women’s low status position relative to their male counterparts. I now propose to examine role-taking accuracy and its relation to another diffuse status characteristic: race. If gender is related to role-taking accuracy through status, race may operate under similar dynamics. Findings from this study will improve knowledge of social psychological aspects of race relations and inform the science of status and interpersonal interaction, including efforts to intervene and equalize status-imbalanced groups.
Effective start/end date1/1/1712/31/19


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