"Quick to the Draw: The Role of Suspect Race and Socioeconomic Status on Shooting Decisions." Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2017.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Samantha Moore‐Berg, Andrew Karpinski, E. Ashby Plant

We examined the role of both suspect race and socioeconomic status (SES) on shooting decisions during a first‐person shooter task. Two studies revealed that both suspect race and SES influenced shooting decisions. Non‐Black participants shot armed high‐SES Black suspects faster than armed high‐SES White suspects and responded “don't shoot” faster for unarmed high‐SES White suspects than unarmed high‐SES Black suspects. No race differences appeared in the low‐SES conditions—responses resembled high‐SES Black suspect. Signal detection, misses, and false alarm analyses revealed participants erred toward not shooting high‐SES White suspects. The current studies draw attention to considering both race and SES during shooting decisions.