The Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale

To the Researcher:

 

My colleague David Sears & I published this scale in Political Psychology (Henry & Sears, 2002) in response to the many critiques that have been presented concerning previous uses of symbolic racism items, including the Modern Racism scale (McConahay, 1988).  We deliberately created the scale to have scaling properties to help prevent response biases and general mindless response patterns, and to allow for some flexibility for the scientist who may wish to use variations of this scale.  The scaling instructions in the Note to the table were published in Sears & Henry (2005).  Thank you for considering use of this scale in your research.  Happy data collecting!   

 

Henry, P. J., & Sears, D. O.  (2002).  The symbolic racism 2000 scale.  Political Psychology, 23, 253-283.

 

Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J.  (2005).  Over thirty years later: A contemporary look at symbolic racism and its critics.  Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 37,  95-150.

 

 

The Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale

 

1.   Itís really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.        

<1> Strongly agree

<2> Somewhat agree

<3> Somewhat disagree

<4> Strongly disagree

 

2.  Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up.  Blacks should do the same.

<1> Strongly agree

<2> Somewhat agree

<3> Somewhat disagree

<4> Strongly disagree

 

3.  Some say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast.  Others feel that they havenít pushed fast enough.  What do you think?   

<1> Trying to push very much too fast

<2> Going too slowly

<3> Moving at about the right speed

 

4.  How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?                       

<1> All of it

<2> Most

<3> Some

<4> Not much at all

 

5.  How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?

<1> A lot

<2> Some

<3> Just a little

<4> None at all

 

6.  Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class. 

<1> Strongly agree

<2> Somewhat agree

<3> Somewhat disagree

<4> Strongly disagree

 

7.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.

<1> Strongly agree

<2> Somewhat agree  

<3> Somewhat disagree

<4> Strongly disagree

 

8.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve.

<1> Strongly agree

<2> Somewhat agree

<3> Somewhat disagree

<4> Strongly disagree

 

Note:  The following is the standard procedure for combining the items into a scale:  After collecting the data, items 1, 2, 4, and 8 need to be recoded so that a 1 = 4, 2 = 3, 3 = 2, and 4 = 1.  Item 3 needs to be recoded so that 1 = 3, 2 = 1, and 3 = 2.  For combining the items into a scale, there are several options, ranging from the simplest to the most precise:  (1) One could simply add the raw scores together for each item, so that each individual has a score that could range from 8 to 31.  (2) To compensate for any missing data, one could average the raw scores.  (3) To compensate for the differences in the number of response alternatives, one could recode each of the items on a 0 to 1 scale, so for item #3, a 1 = 1, 2 = 0, and 3 = .50, and for the other items the high response is a 1, the next a .66, the next a .33, and the low response is a 0.  (This third technique is the one used in Henry & Sears, 2002.) (4) To equate the variability across items, one could create standardized (z) scores for each of the items in the scale, then average the responses.