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Description: Does the racial composition of a crowd affect judgments about the group’s emotionality? In Experiments 1-2, we showed participants crowds of faces expressing different degrees of happiness or anger, manipulating the ratio of lighter-skinned faces racialized as White and darker-skinned faces racialized as Black. Greater proportion of Black faces increased the likelihood that the crowd was perceived as emotional. In Experiment 3 we confirmed that this effect was not merely driven by the contrast between White and Black faces within a crowd; crowds composed of solely Black faces were more likely to be evaluated as emotional than crowds of White and Black faces. We used a hierarchical drift diffusion model to compare potential mechanisms, and found that Black faces expressing emotions weighed more heavily than White faces in pushing participants to judge a crowd as emotional. These results shed light on an important way in which racialization impacts social cognition.

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