To Treat or Not to Treat: The Impact of Hairstyle on Implicit and Explicit Perceptions of African American Women’s Competence

Citation:

Aladesuru*, B. H., Cheng*, D., Harris*, D., Mindel*, A., & Vlasceanu, M. (2020). To Treat or Not to Treat: The Impact of Hairstyle on Implicit and Explicit Perceptions of African American Women’s Competence. Open Journal of Social Sciences.
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Abstract:

African American women wearing their natural Afrocentric hair without altering its texture have long been discriminated against in the workplace, at school, in the military, in the justice system, and more. This phenomenon has been found to be mainly driven by the notion that African American women wearing their natural hair are less professional than African American women wearing chemically treated, Eurocentric hair. In prior work, dimensions such as perceived dominance, intelligence, and unpleasantness have been explored as potential mechanisms playing a role in the relationship between African American hair and perceived professionalism. Here, we explore an additional such dimension: perceived competence. In a sample of 186 predominantly Caucasian Cloud Research participants, we found that African American women wearing their natural Afrocentric hair were perceived both implicitly and explicitly as being less competent than African American women wearing Eurocentric hair, and that the implicit and explicit attitudes were not corre- lated. These findings are relevant to understanding barriers that may hinder African American women in their academic and professional careers.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 03/09/2021