Who Needs Individual Responsibility? Audience Race and Message Content Influence Third-Party Evaluations of Political Messages Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015, The Author(s) 2015. The present research examined the idea that people believe Black Americans think society is less fair than members of other racial groups (Study 1a), that these beliefs are out of touch with reality (Study 1b), and that Black audiences need to hear individual blame messages to bring these discrepant views more in line with reality (Study 2). We then examined a downstream consequence of these beliefs: differing third-party evaluations of speeches based on the race of the audience (Black vs. White) and the content of the message (individual vs. system blame). We found that individual blame messages were evaluated more positively when they were directed at Black audiences relative to White audiences. By comparison, evaluations did not differ for system blame messages (Studies 3a and 3b). Implications for system justification and policy endorsement are discussed.

altmetric score

  • 53.042

author list (cited authors)

  • Salter, P. S., Hirsch, K. A., Schlegel, R. J., & Thai, L. T.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • July 2015