There is still no broad consensus on the extent to which racial prejudice influences white Americans' political attitudes, in part because of an ongoing dispute over the nature and measurement of racial prejudice. We review measures of new, subtle forms of racism toward African-Americans and consider criticism that such views do not clearly constitute racial prejudice despite their political impact. We then evaluate a number of ways in which explicit prejudice can be assessed in surveys, highlighting the continued existence and successful measurement of overt prejudice. We also consider ways to measure prejudice other than direct survey questions. Social psychologists have gravitated to the measurement of implicit racial attitudes, an approach that we review critically as potentially interesting but with unknown payoff for political researchers. Finally, we discuss the value of experiments as a way to gain direct evidence of politically potent racial discrimination and assess the prejudicial nature of explicit racial attitudes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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