You may want to discuss or assign the following article:

Saucier, D. A., & Miller, C. T. (2003). The persuasiveness of racial arguments as a subtle

 measure of racism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1303-1315.


The article discusses an interesting topic (measuring racism), describes eight studies (at least two of which your students should find interesting), provides the actual scale in the appendix, and discusses many of the concepts discussed in Chapter 4 (See Table 1). In addition, the article is easy for your students to obtain (students who buy the book can get it by using the Infotrac® subscription that comes with Research Design Explained), and the article is relatively easy to students to read (to make it even easier, see Table 2).                    


Table 1

Reliability and Validity Concepts Discussed in Article and in Research Design Explained


Where and how discussed in article

Where discussed in Research Design Explained

Internal consistency

Study 1, 2, & 3 (Cronbach’s alpha)

103-105, 107-109

Test-retest reliability

Study 2 (correlation of .81 between two testing sessions that were two weeks apart)


Discriminant validity

Study 1 (scale does not correlate too highly with the Modern Racism Scale), Study 3 (scale does not correlate with  social desirability), Study 5 (scale does not correlate with right-wing authoritarianism)


Convergent validity

Studies 1, 4, and 5 (scale correlates with other measures of prejudice), Study 6 (the scale—based on result of asking participants to rate how well paragraphs that argued for either a pro-Black conclusion on an unresolved societal issue [e.g., students should be required to take African_American studies] or an anti-Black position [e.g., the numbers of African Americans receiving welfare should be limited to provide benefits for others] supported the conclusion offered— correlates with a more direct self-report measure: the extent to which participants personally agree with the paragraphs), Study 7 (scale correlates with increased willingness to complete a survey for a Black student organization), and Study 8 (participants scoring low on the scale make less hostile comments on papers when those papers are allegedly written by Black students than when those same  papers are allegedly written by White students).




Table 2

Helping Students Understand the Article


 Tips, Comments, and Problem Areas


If students have read Chapter 4, they should understand the abstract.


Page 1303:

MRS is an abbreviation for Modern Racism Scale

Response time latencies refer to reaction time.

Page 1304:

To help students understand implicit attitudes, you might have students take an implicit attitude test, such as the one found at

Study 1

For the section “Factor analysis of RAS,” you may want to have students skip all but the last four sentences. Students may need to be told what “reverse-coded” means. Students may also need some help understanding why the authors seem pleased that their measure correlated only moderately with the Modern Racism Scale (MRS).

Study 2

Short (less than half of a page) and clear. May want to assign it even if you do not assign any other part of the article.

Study 3

The write-up is short and clear, but you may still want to help students understand the scoring of the social desirability scale. You could simply rephrase the description of the scoring in less formal language. Alternatively, you might actually have students take and self-score Crowne and Marlowe’s social desirability scale.

Study 4

Short and sweet.  You might, however, point out that the correlations between the RAS and other measures are in the column labeled “1” in Table 1.

Study 5

Short and relatively clear—just make sure that students understand that the key point is that the RAS —because it does not significantly correlate with the RWA—has discriminant validity relative to right-wing authoritarianism

Study 6

Short and simple to understand. You may, however, need to emphasize that the study was done as a way of establishing convergent validity—correlating the indirect measure composed of ratings of how convincing the arguments were with the more direct self-report measure of how much participants personally agreed with the arguments.

Study 7

The statistical techniques used in Study 7 are advanced. Therefore, you may wish to tell students to ignore all but the last two sentences of the results and discussion section of Study 7. We would also recommend that they focus on Figure 1 because it (a) summarizes the data nicely (showing that low scorers were equally likely to agree to a telephone survey regardless of whether the survey was for the “National Association for Promising African American Students or for the “National Association for Promising Students”) and (b) is a good way to introduce students to interpreting graphs of interactions.

Study 8

The results and discussion section is too advanced for most undergraduates to understand. You may ask them to skip the first paragraph and the first sentence of the second paragraph.  If they start at the second sentence of the second paragraph of the discussion and look at Figure 2, they will have a solid understanding of the results (low RAS students expressed less hostility to Black authors than to White authors).



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