Racial Bias in Perceptions of Others’ Pain Nov 14, 2012 By Sophie TrawalterKelly M. HoffmanAdam Waytz Racial Bias in Perceptions of Others’ Pain Racial Bias in Perceptions of Others’ Pain The present work provides evidence that people assume a priori that Blacks feel less pain than do Whites. It also demonstrates that this bias is rooted in perceptions of status and the privilege (or hardship) status confers, not race per se. Archival data from the National Football League injury reports reveal that, relative to injured White players, injured Black players are deemed more likely to play in a subsequent game, possibly because people assume they feel less pain. Experiments 1–4 show that White and Black Americans–including registered nurses and nursing students–assume that Black people feel less pain than do White people. Finally, Experiments 5 and 6 provide evidence that this bias is rooted in perceptions of status, not race per se. Taken together, these data have important implications for understanding race-related biases and healthcare disparities. PLoS ONE Areas of focus Advocacy Sophie Trawalter I’m an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology. I study phenomena related to social diversity. Specifically, I examine how people navigate intergroup contact and intergroup contexts. I am especially interested in how people develop competencies and learn to thrive in diverse spaces. Read full bio Kelly M. Hoffman Adam Waytz Related Content Sophie Trawalter False beliefs are associated with racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations only among White (not among non-White) medical students and residents Research What Lies Beneath? Minority Group Members’ Suspicion of Whites’ Egalitarian Motivation Predicts Responses to Whites’ Smiles Research Antiprejudice norms and attempts to conceal racial bias have made Whites’ positive treatment of racial minorities attributionally ambiguous. Although some minorities believe Whites’ positivity is genuine, others are suspicious of Whites’ motives and believe their kindness is primarily motivated by desires to avoid appearing prejudiced. Alum in Action: Kathryn Babineau News Batten alum Kathryn Babineau (MPP ’13) is a Ph.D. student in the University of Virginia's sociology department, where she studies globalization, labor rights, and public and private regulation. Previously, she worked as a human rights investigator for the Fair Food Standards Council and as a research coordinator at National Defense University. First Batten Hour of the Year Kicks Off with Roundtable Discussion with Dean Solomon News This week, Batten hosted the first Batten Hour of the year featuring brief remarks from Dean Ian H. Solomon followed by a roundtable conversation with the dean, students, and faculty, providing an opportunity for the Batten community to get to learn more about the new dean, both professionally and personally.