Steinmetz Spotlight: Fletcher Fineman (’22)

Avanti Khare, Sci-Tech Editor

This week’s Steinmetz Spotlight is Fletcher Fineman ‘22, a Psychology major with a double minor in History and Law & Humanities. His research focuses on the effects of internal and external motivations for confronting racial prejudice on self and collective esteem.

He writes about his project, “The verbal confrontation of expressed prejudice can lead to a decrease in these negative effects (Richards & Gross, 2000). While Chaney and Sanchez (2021) identified how people carry out these verbal confrontations, there is limited research on why people confront prejudice. This limited research has revealed that people confront prejudice because they are either internally motivated to do so, externally motivated to not “look bad”, or externally motivated to “look good” (O’Dea, Plant, & Garcia, in Preparation). We investigated whether people’s motivations to confront prejudice affect personal esteem and collective esteem. We showed participants a situation in which they viewed another White individual expressing prejudice toward a Black person. This person was either not confronted, confronted by an “out-group” member, confronted by an “in-group” member, or the participant imagined that they did the confrontation themselves. We hypothesized that participants internally motivated were going to get a boost in both personal and collective esteem when reading about any situation in which the holder of the prejudice is confronted due to the strong anti-prejudiced attitudes they hold. However, those externally motivated were predicted not to get a boost in esteem unless it was they, themselves, confronting the perpetrator of the prejudice.”