Derrick Till, M.A.
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology and political science (May 2015)
Master of Arts in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
McNair Project: The Political and Racial Divide: Potential Consequences for Racial Inequality Instruction (2014)
Mentor: Don Saucier, Ph.D.
Instructors teach about racial inequality in several university courses, often framing it as majority privilege (i.e., White privilege) and minority disadvantage. Framing affects the extent to which White participants feel personally responsible for racial inequality (Powell, Branscombe, & Schmitt, 2005), while political orientation (PO) affects the extent to which White participants feel that minorities are responsible (Kay, Czaplinski, & Jost, 2008). In this study we manipulated racial inequality framing as personal or collective White privilege, or as Black disadvantage. PO predicted several attitudes related to WP regardless of inequality framing. However, feelings of remorse and a willingness to confront WP were related to PO only when the framing allowed for participants to avoid personally contributing to or taking advantage of WP, i.e., in the collective privilege condition. As the framing made it harder to dismiss or avoid responsibility for racial inequality, PO became less predictive of the acknowledgement of WP.