The"Obama effect" and white racial attitudes

Susan Welch, Lee Sigelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


To what extent did the presidential candidacy and election of Barack Obama affect whites' more general perceptions of African Americans? Responses to survey questions in which respondents were asked to place blacks on scales running from"stupid" to"intelligent" and from"lazy" to"hardworking" revealed that whites' views of blacks' intelligence and work ethic have become somewhat more positive, though whites continued to be rated higher on these attributes than were blacks. The fact that negative stereotypes of blacks were least pronounced among younger whites implies that these stereotypes will continue to fade in the future. These data do not constitute proof positive of an"Obama effect" on whites' racial attitudes, but they are largely consistent with that idea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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