The Impact of Claimant Age and Perpetrator Position on White Adults’ Assessment of Discrimination Claims and Claimant Character
Research shows that experiences of racial discrimination continue to be a common experience for people of color within the United States. Research finds that the extent to which those experiences are believed varies depending on the information provided and the ideologies of the individual making the judgment (Carter & Murphy, 2017; Unzueta et al., 2014). This study seeks to better understand the circumstances under which White people assess discrimination claims as valid and how different circumstances affect perceptions of the claimant's character. Specifically, we examine whether perpetrator position (i.e., peer or authority figure) and/or claimant age (child, adolescent, or adult) impact participant perceptions across three studies. Results suggest that when participants believe an individual must be older to be able to recognize discrimination, they are less likely to believe children's discrimination claims. Perpetrator position and claimant age were inconsistently related to participants' perceptions. Implications of current findings and next steps for replication and clarification of the results will be discussed.