White liberals present themselves as less competent when addressing minorities, while conservatives use the same vocabulary no matter what the race of their audience, according to a newly released study.
Yale and Princeton researchers found that both white Democratic presidential candidates and self-identified liberals played down their competence when speaking to minorities, using fewer words that conveyed accomplishment and more words that expressed warmth.
On the other hand, there were no significant differences in how white conservatives, including Republican presidential candidates, spoke to white versus minority audiences.
“White liberals self-present less competence to minorities than to other Whites—that is, they patronize minorities stereotyped as lower status and less competent,” according to the study’s abstract.
Cydney Dupree, Yale School of Management assistant professor of organizational behavior, said she was surprised by the findings of the study, which sought to discover how “well-intentioned whites” interact with minorities.