Areas of Expertise
- Political Psychology
- Stereotyping, Prejudice & Discrimination
- Research Methods
- Social Psychology
- Hate Crime
- Unconscious Social Cognition
- Racial Profiling
Jack Glaser received his Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University in 1999. He is a social psychologist whose primary research interest is in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. He studies these intergroup biases at multiple levels of analysis. For example, he investigates the unconscious operation of stereotypes and prejudice using computerized reaction time methods, and is investigating the implications of such subtle forms of bias in law enforcement. In particular, he is interested in the police practice of racial profiling, especially as it relates to the psychology of stereotyping, and the self-fulfilling effects of such stereotype-based discrimination. Additionally, Professor Glaser conducts research on a very extreme manifestation of intergroup bias - hate crime - and has carried out analyses of historical data as well as racist rhetoric on the Internet to challenge assumptions about economic predictors of intergroup violence. Another area of interest is in electoral politics and political ideology, specifically the role of emotion (as experienced and expressed) in politics, and in the psychological underpinnings of liberalism and conservatism. Most recently, he has initiated research on capital punishment, the effect it has on legal decision making, and how that interacts with defendant race. In addition to teaching and conducting research at GSPP, Professor Glaser has been involved in training California State judges in the psychology of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, and how they might operate implicitly, and undermine fairness, in the courtroom.
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GSPP Working Paper (July 2013)
This article provides a foundation for understanding the role of implicit biases in political behavior, particularly implicit racial attitudes and voting behavior. Although racial attitudes have rarely played a major direct role in American presidential politics until 2008, numerous local, state, and federal elections are held every year in the United States that involve minority candidates. As a result, the implications are considerable.
This article connects the cognitive psychological science of memory - specifically implicit memory - to the social psychological study of implicit attitudes, stereotyping, and prejudice, and then political psychology. The overwhelming evidence from cognitive psychology that memory is associative, and that it can and does operate (i.e., gets stored and retrieved) outside of conscious awareness and control, paired with the social psychological insight that memory activation is influential in person perception, provides the strong theoretical foundation for expecting implicit biases to uniquely predict part of electoral behavior. The social and political psychological extensions of implicit memory to interpersonal and intergroup judgments are theoretically uncontroversial and methodologically rigorous.
GSPP Working Paper (June 2013)
A controlled experiment tested the possibility that racial profiling— disproportionate scrutiny of a minority racial group by sanctioned authorities—would have a “reverse deterrent” effect on the illicit behavior of members of a nonprofiled majority group. Research participants given a task involving extremely difficult anagrams were given the opportunity to cheat. White participants randomly assigned to a condition in which two Black confederates were obtrusively singled out for scrutiny by the study administrator cheated more than Whites in a White-profiling condition and a no-profiling control condition, and more than Black participants in all three conditions. Black participants cheated at comparable levels across the three experimental conditions. The effect of the profiling of Blacks was consequently a net increase in cheating. The results indicate that racial profiling may be counterproductive.
GSPP Working Paper (November 2012)
The practice of racial profiling, which involves singling out a person or persons for special (usually law-enforcementrelated) attention based solely on their race or ethnicity, is part of a specific set of issues that the United States has grappled with in protecting the civil rights of minority individuals belonging to a specific group or class. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, protecting against unreasonable search and seizure, and the equal protection provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment make racial profiling per se illegal. But the legal community and law enforcement agencies have worked to define parameters that would allow consideration of race or ethnicity in conjunction with other behaviors or factors.
Given its controversial nature, it is not surprising that definitions of racial profiling vary. The Department of Justice, for example, defines it as “any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national origin rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being, or having been, engaged in criminal activity.” Far more simply, the General Accounting Office defines it as “using race as a key factor in deciding whether to make a traffic stop.” The Office of the Arizona Attorney General, meanwhile, describes it as “use by law enforcement personnel of an individual’s race or ethnicity as a factor in articulating reasonable suspicion to stop, question or arrest an individual, unless race or ethnicity is part of an identifying description of a specific suspect for a specific crime.”
The issue of racial profiling has been brought into sharp focus in the immigration arena by passage of state laws such as Arizona’s S.B. 1070. Although S.B. 1070 specifically forbids racial profiling, critics have widely decried the law as impossible to enforce unless police engage in the practice. The central challenge is that, while the vast majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona are from Mexico and are Hispanics, not all Hispanics of Mexican origin are illegal immigrants. Thus, the probability that S.B. 1070 will result in discrimination by virtue of racial profiling against Hispanics who are either U.S.
citizens or foreign nationals legally in the country seems very high.
As in all situations where racial profiling is a concern, there is a power imbalance between law enforcement personnel, who are frequently members of the majority population, and the targets of that enforcement, who are by definition members of a minority population. Proponents of “legitimate” racial profiling argue that it provides law enforcement with a valuable tool. Opponents argue that it is counterproductive and is a fundamental violation of core American values of human rights and dignity.
In the Point essay below, Peter Schuck argues that in the post-9/11 era, and with the issue of illegal immigration becoming more and more pressing, it is important for the country to have a rational discussion about the use of racial profiling. “Government may not treat individuals arbitrarily,” he argues, “it must base its action on information that is reliable enough to justify its exercise of power over free individuals.” He goes on to say, “Context is everything,” and when it is used properly and within defined legal parameters, racial profiling can be a legitimate, useful tool of law enforcement.
In the Counterpoint essay, Karin Martin and Jack Glaser contend there are serious social costs incurred both by the targets of racial profiling and by the broader American society. They consider the effectiveness of racial profiling, determining that, in fact, the evidence shows that racial profiling is both ineffective and inefficient. Finally, they argue that the demonstrated ineffective and unjust nature of racial profiling demands that it be rejected, and that a proactive, enforceable ban on its use be enacted.
In reading this chapter, consider not only whether racial profiling is effective, but also to what extent such a practice is valuable, given the rights to equal protection established by the U.S. Constitution. How much safety can be “bought” through racial profiling, and is the price acceptable? Conversely, given the high expectations placed on law enforcement, is it reasonable to expect that consideration of race and ethnicity not be a part of standard investigation techniques?
GSPP Working Paper: GSPP09-003 (September 2009)
A controlled experiment tested the possibility that racial profiling – disproportionate scrutiny of minorities by sanctioned authorities – would have “reverse deterrent” effects on the illicit behavior of members of non-profiled groups (e.g., Whites). Research participants given a task involving extremely difficult anagrams were given the opportunity to cheat. White participants randomly assigned to a condition in which two Black confederates were obtrusively singled out for scrutiny by the study administrator cheated more than Whites in a White-profiling condition and a no-profiling control condition, and more than Black participants in all three conditions. Black participants cheated at comparable levels across the three experimental conditions. The effect of the profiling was therefore a net increase in cheating.
GSPP Working Paper: GSPP09-002 (June 2009)
When anticipating the administration of the death penalty, mock jurors may be less inclined to convict defendants. Furthermore, minority defendants have been shown to be treated more punitively. We conducted a survey-embedded experiment with a nationally representative sample to examine the effect of sentence severity as a function of defendant race, presenting respondents with a triple murder trial summary, manipulating the maximum penalty (death vs. life without parole) and the race of the defendant. Respondents who were told life-without-parole was the maximum sentence were not significantly more likely to convict Black (67.7%) than White defendants (66.7%). However, when death was the maximum sentence, respondents presented with Black defendants were significantly more likely to convict (80.0%) than were those with White defendants (55.1%). The results implicate threats to civil rights and to effective criminal incapacitation.
GSPP Working Paper: GSPP08-007 (December 2006)
This research examines whether spontaneous, unintentional discriminatory behavior can be moderated by an implicit (nonconscious) motivation to control prejudice. We operationalize implicit motivation to control prejudice (IMCP) in terms of an implicit negative attitude toward prejudice (NAP) and an implicit belief that oneself is prejudiced (BOP). In the present experiment, an implicit stereotypic association of Blacks (vs. Whites) with weapons was positively correlated with the tendency to "shoot" armed Black men faster than armed White men (the "Shooter Bias") in a computer simulation. However, participants relatively high in implicit negative attitude toward prejudice showed no relation between the race-weapons stereotype and the shooter bias. Implicit belief that oneself is prejudiced had no direct effect on this relation, but the interaction of NAP and BOP did. Participants who had a strong association between self and prejudice (high BOP) but a weak association between prejudice and bad (low NAP) showed the strongest relation between the implicit race-weapons stereotype and the Shooter Bias, suggesting that these individuals freely employed their stereotypes in their behavior.
Finn, C., & Glaser, J. (2010). Voter affect and the 2008 U.S. presidential election: Hope and race really mattered. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.
Jost, J.T., Rudman, L., Blair, I.V., Carney, D.R., Dasgupta, N., Glaser, J., & Hardin, C. (2009). The existence of implicit bias is beyond reasonable doubt: A refutation of ideological and methodological objections and executive summary of ten studies that no manager should ignore. Research in Organizational Behavior, 29, 39-69.
In this article, we respond at length to recent critiques of research on implicit bias, especially studies using the Implicit
Association Test (IAT). Tetlock and Mitchell (2009) claim that ‘‘there is no evidence that the IAT reliably predicts class-wide
discrimination on tangible outcomes in any setting,’’ accuse their colleagues of violating ‘‘the injunction to separate factual from
value judgments,’’ adhering blindly to a ‘‘statist interventionist’’ ideology, and of conducting a witch-hunt against implicit racists,
sexists, and others. These and other charges are specious. Far from making ‘‘extraordinary claims’’ that ‘‘require extraordinary
evidence,’’ researchers have identiﬁed the existence and consequences of implicit bias through well-established methods based
upon principles of cognitive psychology that have been developed in nearly a century’s worth of work. We challenge the blanket
skepticism and organizational complacency advocated by Tetlock and Mitchell and summarize 10 recent studies that no manager
(or managerial researcher) should ignore. These studies reveal that students, nurses, doctors, police ofﬁcers, employment recruiters,
and many others exhibit implicit biases with respect to race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, social status, and other distinctions.
Furthermore—and contrary to the emphatic assertions of the critics—participants’ implicit associations do predict socially and
organizationally signiﬁcant behaviors, including employment, medical, and voting decisions made by working adults.
# 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Park, S.H., Glaser, J., & Knowles, E.D. (2008). Implicit motivation to control prejudice moderates the effect of cognitive depletion on unintended discrimination. Social Cognition, 26, 379-398.
The role of Implicit motivation to Control prejudice (ImCp) in moderating
the effect of resource depletion on spontaneous discriminatory behavior
was examined. Cognitive resource depletion was manipulated by having
participants solve either difficult or easy anagrams. A “Shooter Task” measuring unintended racial discriminatory behavior followed. participants
then reported their subjective experiences in the task. Finally, ImCp and
an implicit race-weapons stereotype were measured, both using Go/no-go
Association Tasks (GnATs). ImCp moderated the effect of depletion on discriminatory behavior: depletion resulted in more racial bias in the Shooter
Task only for those who scored low in our measure of ImCp, while high
ImCp participants performed comparably in both the low and high depletion conditions.
Tapias, M.P., Glaser, J., Vasquez, K., Keltner, D., & Wickens, T. (2007). Emotion and prejudice: Specific emotions toward outgroups. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 10, 27-40.
This research draws on ideas about emotion-related appraisal tendencies to generate and test
novel propositions about intergroup emotions. First, emotion elicited by outgroup category
activation can be transferred to an unrelated stimulus (incidental emotion effects). Second,
people predisposed toward an emotion are more prejudiced toward groups that are likely to be
associated with that emotion. Discussion focuses on the implications of the studies for a more
complete understanding of the nature of prejudice, and speciﬁ cally, the different qualities of
prejudice for different target groups.
Glaser, J. (2007). Contrast effects in automatic affect, cognition, and behavior. In D. Stapel & J. Suls (Eds.), Assimilation and Contrast in Social Psychology. New York: Psychology Press.
Stroud, L.R., Glaser, J., & Salovey, P. (2006). The effects of partisanship and candidate emotionality on voter preference. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 25, 25-44.
In an experiment, Republican and Democratic participants viewed a video clip
of an ostensible congressional candidate labeled as Republican, Democratic,
or not given a party label delivering the same speech in an emotionally
expressive or unexpressive manner. When the candidate was labeled a
Democrat, he was rated more positively by Democratic participants; when
labeled a Republican, he was preferred by Republicans. When party label
was not provided, the emotionally expressive candidate was preferred;
however, when either party label was provided, the unemotional candidate
was preferred. These findings underscore the importance of partisanship cues
and suggest that in the absence of such influential cues as partisanship, less
prominent factors such as emotional expressiveness carry greater influence.
Glaser, J., & Kihlstrom, J. F. (2005). Compensatory Automaticity: Unconscious volition is not an oxymoron. In R. Hassin, J. S. Uleman, & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The New Unconscious. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The concept of automaticity, long central in cognitive psychology,
has come to occupy an important place in social psychology as well.
It appears that unconscious vigilance for bias can lead to corrective
processes that also operate without conscious awareness or intent.
This chapter argues that the unconscious, in addition to being a passive
categorizer, evaluator, and semantic processor, has processing goals (for
example, accuracy, egalitarianism) of its own, can be vigilant for threats
to the attainment of these goals, and will proactively compensate for
such threats. One might call this “compensatory automaticity”: strategic
yet nonconscious compensations for unintended thoughts, feelings, or
behaviors. For some, this will pose a paradox because automaticity has
been equated with lack of control or intent. This chapter entertains the
possibility that intention operates at multiple levels of consciousness.
There can be nonconscious intentions (for example, goals) that, when
the potential for their imminent frustration becomes evident, automatic
compensatory processes will promote and protect.
Glaser, J., & Kahn, K. B. (2005). Prejudice, Discrimination, and the Internet. In Y. Amichai-Hamburger (Ed.) The Social Net: Human Behavior in Cyberspace. New York: Oxford University Press.
Glaser, J. (2005). Intergroup Bias and Inequity: Legitimizing Beliefs and Policy Attitudes. Social Justice Research, 18, 257-282.
Policy attitudes relating to group-based inequities are in many cases founded on tenuous legitimizing beliefs which are contradicted by empirical evidence. Policy issues, and their attendant legitimizing beliefs, are considered, including afﬁrmative action, colorblindness/“racial privacy,” hate crime legislation, samesex marriage, and, in greater depth, capital punishment and racial proﬁling. Primary themes underlying the legitimizing beliefs include denials that groupbased biases and inequities exist, overestimations of the societal costs of inequityreducing policies, valuing public safety above civil liberties, and discounting the adverse effects of inequity-reducing policies.
Glaser, J. (2003). Reverse priming: Implications for the (un)conditionality of automatic evaluation. In J. Musch, & K. C. Klauer (Eds.), The Psychology of Evaluation: Affective Processes in Cognition and Emotion. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Sulloway, F., & Kruglanski, A.W. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 339-375.
Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure,
regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological
variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r .50); system instability (.47);
dogmatism–intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (–.32); uncertainty tolerance (–.27);
needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (–.20); fear of threat and loss (.18);
and self-esteem (–.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification
of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty
Exceptions that prove the rule: Using a theory of motivated social cognition to account for ideologi
Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Sulloway, F., & Kruglanski, A. W. (2003). Exceptions that prove the rule: Using a theory of motivated social cognition to account for ideological incongruities and political anomalies (reply to Greenberg & Jonas). Psychological Bulletin, 129, 383-393.
Glaser, J., Dixit, S., & Green, D. P. (2002). Studying hate crime with the Internet: What makes racists advocate racial violence. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 177-193.
We conducted semistructured interviews with 38 participants in White racist Internet chat rooms, examining the extent to which people would, in this unique environment, advocate interracial violence in response to purported economic and cultural threats. Capitalizing on the anonymity and candor of chat room interactions, this study provides an unusual perspective on extremist attitudes. We experimentally manipulated the nature and proximity of the threats. Qualitative and quantitative analyses indicate that the respondents were most threatened by interracial marriage and, to a lesser extent, Blacks moving into White neighborhoods. In contrast, job competition posed by Blacks evoked very little advocacy of violence. The study affords an assessment of the advantages and limitations of Internet-based research with clandestine populations.
Professor Glaser featured in CPTV documentary on racial disparities in juvenile justice: 'The Color of Justice.'
CPTV, April 23, 2013
KGO Radio interview on intergroup contact and attitudes toward same sex marriage, in the context of the Supreme Court, March 25, 2013.
KGO Radio, March 25, 2013
KALW Radio, June 4, 2012
Thomson/Reuters news service, January 20, 2012
MPR, February 8, 2011