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Phillip Atiba Goff

Phillip Atiba Goff

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The latter part of the 20th Century saw an impressive decline in the overt expression of racial animosity towards non-Whites. This decline, however, was largely unaccompanied by a reduction in racial inequality. The seeming disconnect between racial attitudes and racial outcomes has troubled contemporary social scientists who had long assumed that individual-level racism accounted for racial disparities. Popular explanations for this disconnect often suggest that individual-level racism has merely "gone underground," having become less popular to voice, but just as prevalent--and just as responsible for racial inequality.

Dr. Goff's research investigates the possibility that contextual explanations play an under-explored role in producing racial inequality. Rather than focusing on racial attitudes that are internal to an individual, his research examines ways in which environmental factors can produce racially disparate outcomes. Through this research he hope to expand the scope of what comes to mind when one thinks of the causes and consequences of inequality.

Though race is central to his research agenda, he is also interested in identity-based inequality across multiple domains including gender, sexuality, class, and ableness. His empirical research can be roughly divided into four areas:

(1) Research on Dominant Group Identity (e.g. Whites and men)

(2) Research on Mental Representations of Stigmatized Groups (e.g. Non-Whites and women)

(3) Research on Intersectional Identities (e.g. examining race and gender simultaneously)

(4) Research on Policing and Criminal Justice (e.g. all of the above)

Dr. Goff's work has been recognized by several institutions including the Mellon Foundation; the Russell Sage Foundation, where he was a resident scholar during the 2008-2009 academic year; and the William T. Grant Foundation which selected him for their scholars program from 2010-2015.

His work on equity issues in policing has led to formation of the Center for Policing Equity. Along with Chief Tracie L. Keesee, he is the co-founder and President.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Causal Attribution
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Group Processes
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Person Perception
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Goff, P. A., Steele, C. M., & Davies, P. G. (2008). The space between us: Stereotype threat and distance in interracial contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 91-107.
  • Goff, P. A., Eberhardt, J. L., Williams, M. J., & Jackson, M. C. (2008). Not yet human: Implicit knowledge, historical dehumanization, and contemporary consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 292-306.
  • Goff, P. A., Thomas, M. A., & Jackson, M. C. (2008). "Ain't I a woman": Towards an intersectional approach to person perception and group-based harms. Sex Roles, 59, 392-403.
  • Azar, S. T., & Goff, P. A. (2007). Can science help Solomon? Understanding potential for racial and ethnic bias in decision-making in child maltreatment cases. St. John's Law Review, 81, 533-573.
  • Lowery, B. S., Unzueta, M., Knowles, E. D., & Goff, P. A. (2006). Concern for the ingroup and opposition to affirmative action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 961-974.
  • Marx, D. M., & Goff, P. A. (2005). Clearing the air: The effects of Black experimenters on Black students' subjective experience and verbal test performance. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 1-14.
  • Eberhardt, J. L., Goff, P. A., Purdie, V. J., & Davies, P. G. (2004). Seeing black: Race, representation, and visual perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 876-893.

Other Publications:

  • Eberhardt, J. L., & Goff, P .A. (2005). Seeing race. In C. S. Crandall & M. Schaller (Eds.), Social psychology of prejudice: Historical and contemporary issues (pp. 163-183). Seattle, WA: Lewinian Press.

Phillip Atiba Goff
Department of Psychology
4552B Franz Hall
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563
United States

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