Download Full Text (364 KB)


Aversive racism is a form of prejudice and discrimination in which individuals who profess egalitarian ideology and hold non-prejudiced self-views discriminate towards racial minorities in subtle, rationalizable ways (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000). Unlike overt, intentional racism, aversive racism is characterized by feelings of uneasiness about racial minorities rather than hate and hostility; however, it still results in discrimination towards racial minorities. Research examining white people’s attitudes and behavior towards black people finds that one context in which aversive racism occurs is when discrimination towards black people can be blamed on non-racial factors. That is, people fail to identify race playing a role in why they behaved more positively towards other white people than they did black people. The present study seeks to examine the prevalence of aversive racism in the reality-television series, Survivor, where contestants vote someone out of the game each week in order to win a one-million dollar prize. With few exceptions, the majority of contestants each season are white, and attribute their decision of who to vote out of the game to various non-racial factors. We will examine the association between contestant race and the rate at which they are voted off the show by the other contestants. Aversive racism predicts that, although there are usually far fewer non-white contestants each season, non-white contestants would be voted-off at a disproportionately higher rate than the white contestants.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Erin Marie O'Mara

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenters: Jessica Nicole Eischen, Michael Terrence Stark

The Prevalence of Aversive Racism in the Reality TV Show Survivor