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Whites' racial bias influences views of Obama's "Americanism"

Washington , Fri, 29 Apr 2011 ANI

Washington, Apr 29 (ANI): Racial prejudice among some white Americans are influencing their views of President Barack Obama's "Americanism" and their assessment of how well he is performing in office, a University of Delaware doctoral student has said.


The psychology student, Eric Hehman, recently received the national Albert Bandura Graduate Research Award for his paper detailing a research study he conducted on the subject, entitled: "Evaluations of Presidential Performance: Race, Prejudice, and Perceptions of Americanism."


The hypothesis for Hehman's paper focussed around the possibility that whites' racial prejudices influenced "how American" they perceived Obama to be, and evaluate his presidential performance based on their evaluations.


Hehman also predicted that whites would be the only group in which such racial prejudice would ultimately influence their evaluations of performance and that it would affect only their evaluations of the president.


He predicted that when whites evaluated Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Junior, or when African Americans evaluated either Obama or Biden, racial prejudices would not affect their assessments.


After collecting responses from about 300 white and black members of the UD community, Hehman found: "Whites who were racially prejudiced against blacks saw Obama as 'less American' and subsequently rated him as performing more poorly as president."


"Non-prejudiced whites, and both prejudiced and non-prejudiced blacks, did not do so. Additionally and importantly, this relationship was only found with Obama, and not in evaluations of Biden," he added. (ANI)


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