Based on previous theory and research suggesting that a defensive motivational system (DMS) is activated in response to a specific incident of racial discrimination, prejudice, or stereotyping, we examined how prior experiences with racial discrimination increase intense psychological
reactions to a recent incident of race-based rejection. Participants were 161 African American undergraduate students from a PWCU or a HBCU who initially completed a Time 1 measure about their prior experiences with racial discrimination. At Time 2, participants who reported being the target
of prejudice in the previous 10 to 12 weeks completed measures of thought intrusions about the incident, negative affect about what happened, and lack of forgiveness for the perpetrator. The results indicated that prior exposure to racial discrimination was associated with an increase
in thought intrusions about the incident. In turn, more thought intrusions were associated with more negative affect and lower forgiveness for the perpetrator.
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defensive motivational system;
lack of forgiveness;
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA;
Department of Psychology, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA;
Sentara Healthcare, Quality Research Institute, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
February 17, 2019
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