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Social psychologists have shown experimentally that implicit race bias can influence an individual's behavior. Implicit bias has been suggested to be more subtle and less subject to cognitive control than more explicit forms of racial prejudice. Little is known about how implicit bias is manifest in naturally occurring social interaction. This study examines the factors associated with physicians selecting children rather than parents to answer questions in pediatric interviews about routine childhood illnesses. Analysis of the data using a Generalized Linear Latent and Mixed Model demonstrates a significant effect of parent race and education on whether physicians select children to answer questions. Black children and Latino children of low-education parents are less likely to be selected to answer questions than their same aged white peers irrespective of education. One way that implicit bias manifests itself in naturally occurring interaction may be through the process of speaker selection during questioning.

Original publication




Journal article


Social Psychology Quarterly

Publication Date





424 - 441