Racial Stereotypes in Television Advertisements and their Effect on the Perception of African Americans

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kapria D. Ellis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Jasmine DeJesus

Abstract: Previous research has examined stereotypes of various racial and ethnic groups and the media’s role contributing and maintaining these stereotypes. Perceptions of various racial and ethnic groups have been examined; however, researchers have not specifically examined other groups’ perception of African Americans and do not always include participants from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, this research examined how racial stereotypes in television advertisements impact the way stereotypical personality traits are attributed to African Americans. This study measured 18- to 30- year-old adults and the effect of racial stereotypes in television advertisements and how these stereotypes impact how African Americans are perceived. Participants were shown four ads in total---two social focused ads and two product focused ads with gender and race variables. In this study participants were asked to assign judgements adopted from the Big Five Personality Traits to characters shown in the ads, characters not in the ad, and a group of people. The current study tested whether exposure to television advertisements that display prejudice stereotypes impact an individual’s perception of African Americans. Results of the study revealed that social issues ads with a racial focus do not prompt more favorable perceptions of African Americans compared to other types of advertisements (product or social issues ads with a gender focus or product ads with a racial focus). Results also show that positive perceptions are stronger when exposed to positive individual and group representation. These findings emphasize the potential for corporate messages concerning social issues (such as prejudice and discrimination) may potentially create adverse effects on perceptions of African Americans.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2022
racial stereotypes, television, advertisements, race, gender, perception

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