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Scholarly Undergraduate Research Journal at Clark

Faculty Mentor Contact Information

Andrew Stewart

Abstract

Police shootings and killing of African American targets has reached epidemic proportions and has captured the attention of the entire country. Research in social psychology has studied many dimensions of this layered issue, and has generated disparate findings regarding the role of racial bias in police violence. The process of implicit dehumanization of African Americans, especially youth, has been proposed as particularly salient in making shoot/don’t shoot decisions. This paper suggests that the paradigm of dehumanization could complete the understanding of racialized police violence and reconcile contradictory research findings, while highlighting areas for future research.

 

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