Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Despite organizations' efforts to reduce racial inequality in the workplace, White employees continue to outnumber Black employees in many organizations and workgroups. The present research investigates the cognitive performance of Black and White men experiencing different degrees of group racial representation and explores whether keeping their performance private reduces the effect of group racial representation. A sample recruited via Prolific included 491 men, (50.50% White and 49.50% Black), aged 18 to 65 years (M = 39.3, SD = 10.4) working in the U.S. at least 31 hours per week (M = 42.2, SD = 6.7). Using an online 3 by 2 quasi-experimental design, participants were put in groups with different racial compositions (four White male members, two Black and two White male members, and four Black male members) and degrees of privacy (privacy and no privacy). Cognitive performance was measured with the task switching exercise and the Corsi task. Results showed a direct effect of group racial representation on an indicator of cognitive flexibility and overall cognitive performance disparities between Black and White men. Privacy of performance did not appear to affect cognitive performance; however, exploratory analyses revealed a main effect of participant race on stress and privacy of performance coping as well as a three-way interaction between group racial representation, participant race, and privacy of performance on stress. The present findings contribute to the existing literature on the impact of negative stereotypes on the performance of Black male employees in diverse work environments.



Committee Chair

Vanessa Burke

Available for download on Tuesday, August 06, 2024