This research investigates the relationship between perception of race and perception of emotion by operationalizing the Angry Black Woman Trope through survey and eye-tracking methods. In the first study, participants listened to isolated words from an African American English (AAE) speaker and a Standardized American English (SdAE) speaker in happy, neutral, and angry prosodies, and were asked to indicate perceived race and emotion of the speaker. Results showed that SdAE was rated whitest in the happy condition, whereas AAE was rated blackest in neutral and angry conditions. In the second study, participant experiential linguistic knowledge was measured. It was hypothesized that listeners with higher experiential linguistic knowledge of AAE would show less bias, determined by identifying emotional speech with emotional and racialized image stimuli as recorded through the virtual eye-tracker. The results indicate that participants have a broad range of experiential linguistic knowledge with AAE, and trends in the data suggest that higher usage can predict less bias.
Dr. RACHEL ELIZABETH WEISSLER
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Psychology, Linguistics, and Black Studies
College of Arts and Sciences University of Oregon
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