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Racial Priming: Issues in Research Design and Interpretation

  • Tali Mendelberg

In a critique of Huber and Lapinski (in this volume) I argued that their 2006 study failed to find evidence of racial priming and that this failure stands out in the recent accumulation of studies that do find racial priming. I argued further that this failure to replicate is the result of deficiencies in Huber and Lapinski's research. Huber and Lapinski (in this volume) respond by claiming that they did find evidence of racial priming among a subgroup, that their research is sound, that my research is flawed, and that the relevant literature does not comment on the differences between implicit and explicit messages . I show that 1) Huber and Lapinski's results demonstrate that their study produced null findings, 2) these null findings are caused by flaws in their study, 3) my research withstands their criticism, and 4) the relevant literature is in fact relevant and highlights the extent to which their null results are anomalous. There are, however, several points of agreement: 1) racial predispositions shape policy views, 2) these predispositions can be primed by cues and messages, and 3) these predispositions are primed by implicit racial messages. What remains at issue is the impact of explicit racial messages.

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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
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