Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Amy L. Odum


Amy L. Odum


Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez


Gregory J. Madden


Racism is an ongoing issue in U.S. society. The present study examined the relation between racial attitudes and two types of impulsivity (i.e., behavioral inhibition and delay discounting). Prior research has not touched upon the relationship between impulsivity and racial bias; nonetheless, the factors that influence the ability to interfere with automatic thinking and bad decision making may be a way to address racial bias. One hundred eighty-seven White adult participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), an online survey taking website. The value participants place on future rewards (i.e., delay discounting) and the ability to stop their behavior (i.e., response inhibition) were assessed for the potential relationship they may have with two forms of racial bias (i.e., racial colorblindness and ethnocultural empathy). Response inhibition was significantly related to racially colorblind attitudes and ethnocultural empathy. Participants who took less time to stop their response (i.e., had better inhibitory control) were more aware of blatant racial issues and institutional discrimination. Participants with better inhibitory control also had more acceptance of cultural differences and were more empathic perspective takers than those with less inhibitory control. Delay discounting was not significantly related to racial colorblindness nor ethnocultural empathy. Because of poor data quality from MTurk, many participants produced random-like responses in the delay discounting task, which could have affected the results by introducing unsystematic variation. Based on the findings of the present study researchers should examine how improving behavioral inhibition influences racial attitudes.



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