Studies have shown that a person can consciously believe that they value racial equality and desire not to perpetuate racial stigmas, but unwittingly exhibit racist attitudes and beliefs. In order to explain this discrepancy between conscious beliefs and behavior, scholars have turned their attention to unconscious racial prejudice. One approach that is gaining wide acceptance is the Implicit Bias Model, which appeals to distinct implicit and explicit cognitive processes, coupled with an account of the ways in which people unconsciously internalize widespread stereotypes and stigmas. This article claims that although the Implicit Bias Model is in many respects useful, it leaves out a central aspect of unconscious racial prejudice: the underlying motivations and incentives for harboring racist attitudes and beliefs, which generate psychological resistances to knowing about or changing prejudices. A more complete account of unconscious racial prejudice can be developed by turning to theories of active ignorance, which contribute to what this article calls the Resistance Model.

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