Information about the US racial demographic shift triggers concerns about anti-White discrimination among the prospective White “minority”

Maureen A. Craig, Jennifer A. Richeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The United States is undergoing a demographic shift in which White Americans are predicted to comprise less than 50% of the US population by mid-century. The present research examines how exposure to information about this racial shift affects perceptions of the extent to which different racial groups face discrimination. In four experiments, making the growing national racial diversity salient led White Americans to predict that Whites will face increasing discrimination in the future, compared with control information. Conversely, regardless of experimental condition, Whites estimated that discrimination against various racial minority groups will decline. Explorations of several psychological mechanisms potentially underlying the effect of the racial shift information on perceived anti-White discrimination suggested a mediating role of concerns about American culture fundamentally changing. Taken together, these findings suggest that reports about the changing national demographics enhance concerns among Whites that they will be the victims of racial discrimination in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0185389
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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