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Does Race Matter? Implicit and Explicit Measures of the Effect of the PR Spokesman's Race on Evaluations of Spokesman Source Credibility and Perceptions of a PR Crisis' Severity

Does Race Matter? Implicit and Explicit Measures of the Effect of the PR Spokesman's Race on... One rationale offered for why there are fewer people of color in public relations is that publics would respond less positively if racial minorities represented the public face of an organization. To determine the plausibility of this rationale, this study employed a 2 (race: Black vs. White spokesman) × 2 (performance history: with prior crisis vs. no prior crisis) × 2 (crisis type: sports vs. product recall) within-subjects experiment (N = 64), using both implicit (reaction time) and explicit (self-report) measures. Contrary to expectations, participants rated Black spokesmen as significantly more credible than White spokesmen using explicit measures. Most significantly, implicit tests, using response time measures, revealed that heuristic cues, such as the spokesman's race, have an influence on perceptions in the absence of a performance history, i.e., when no other information must be cognitively processed. But in cases where there is a crisis history, i.e., when there is more pertinent information, racial cues play less of a role. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Relations Research Taylor & Francis

Does Race Matter? Implicit and Explicit Measures of the Effect of the PR Spokesman's Race on Evaluations of Spokesman Source Credibility and Perceptions of a PR Crisis' Severity

Does Race Matter? Implicit and Explicit Measures of the Effect of the PR Spokesman's Race on Evaluations of Spokesman Source Credibility and Perceptions of a PR Crisis' Severity

Abstract

One rationale offered for why there are fewer people of color in public relations is that publics would respond less positively if racial minorities represented the public face of an organization. To determine the plausibility of this rationale, this study employed a 2 (race: Black vs. White spokesman) × 2 (performance history: with prior crisis vs. no prior crisis) × 2 (crisis type: sports vs. product recall) within-subjects experiment (N = 64),...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1532-754X
eISSN
1062-726X
DOI
10.1080/1062726X.2014.929502
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

One rationale offered for why there are fewer people of color in public relations is that publics would respond less positively if racial minorities represented the public face of an organization. To determine the plausibility of this rationale, this study employed a 2 (race: Black vs. White spokesman) × 2 (performance history: with prior crisis vs. no prior crisis) × 2 (crisis type: sports vs. product recall) within-subjects experiment (N = 64), using both implicit (reaction time) and explicit (self-report) measures. Contrary to expectations, participants rated Black spokesmen as significantly more credible than White spokesmen using explicit measures. Most significantly, implicit tests, using response time measures, revealed that heuristic cues, such as the spokesman's race, have an influence on perceptions in the absence of a performance history, i.e., when no other information must be cognitively processed. But in cases where there is a crisis history, i.e., when there is more pertinent information, racial cues play less of a role.

Journal

Journal of Public Relations ResearchTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2015

References