Finally, Someone Who “Gets” Me! Multiracial People Value Others’ Accuracy About Their Race

Finally, Someone Who “Gets” Me! Multiracial People Value Others’ Accuracy About Their Race

Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology
Published online: 2013-03-06
DOI: 10.1037/a0032249

Jessica D. Remedios, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Alison L. Chasteen, Associate Professor
University of Toronto

Monoracial people typically encounter correct views about their race from others. Multiracial people, however, encounter different views about their race depending on the situation. As a result, multiracial (but not monoracial) people may regard race as a less visible aspect of the self that they hope others will verify during social interactions. Multiracial people should therefore value others’ accuracy about their race more than monoracial people. In Study 1, multiracial and monoracial participants expected to meet a partner who was accurate or confused about their racial backgrounds. Multiracial (but not monoracial) participants reported heightened interest in interacting with an accurate partner. In Study 2, multiracial (but not monoracial) participants perceived accurate partners as more likely than confused partners to fulfill their needs for self-verification during an interaction. Increased expectations for self-verification, moreover, explained multiracial (but not monoracial) participants’ heightened interest in interacting with accurate partners. The results suggest that multiracial (but not monoracial) people view race as an aspect of the self (like personality traits or values) requiring verification from others during interactions.

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