Conversational conventions hold that later information should receive greater weight in judgment, insofar as the communicator would not have added information unless it was espeically relevant. Previous work (Beal, Ruscher, & Schnake, 2001) showed that European-Americans' use conversational conventions in understanding causal explanation support intergroup bias. For example, a mitigating external explanations for negative behavior that appears at the end of a sentence should be weighted heavily, yielding a more favorable impression of the actor. Beal et al. demonstrated that European-American participants follow this pattern for European-American actors, but not for ethnic minority actors (i.e., they do not give minorities the benefit of the doubt). The present study showed that European-Americans who were high in modern racism against African-Americans showed this biased pattern more than did European-Americans who were low in modern racism.
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