Stereotyping Hispanics: The Differential Effect of Research Method, Label, and Degree of Contact

Gerardo Marín, University of San Francisco


One hundred Anglo university students were asked to rate a number of ethnic/national groups (American, Chicano, Mexican American, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Japanese, and German) on a Semantic Differential and to openly produce traits they identified with each group. As expected, the freely produced traits differed from those obtained in another study which used the Katz and Braly technique with students from the same university. Furthermore, differential evaluations were found for Chicanos and Mexican Americans in which the latter group was perceived more positively in the Evaluative Dimension, but not in terms of Potency or Activity. Also, as expected, having a member of the group as a friend produced the highest correlations with a positive perception of the group as a whole.