A recent study from North Carolina State University finds that the older an adult thinks a Black child is, the more likely the adult is to incorrectly view the child as being angry. There was no similar shift in adults’ perceptions of white children’s emotions.
“Our earlier work had established that racialized anger bias is imposed on both Black adults and Black children,” says Amy Halberstadt, co-author of a paper on the work and a professor of psychology at NC State. “This study shows again that Black children are more likely than white children to be seen as angry, even when they are not angry, which has ramifications for receiving unfair consequences.”
“The new part in this study was to see if anger bias increased as a function of the child’s age,” says Alison Cooke, first author of the study and a former Ph.D. student at NC State. “Do people see Black children as older and does that increase the likelihood that people will incorrectly perceive Black children as angry?”