Goff

Phillip Atiba Goff

Affiliations
Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York; and Co-Founder and President, Center for Policing Equity
Areas of Expertise:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Race & Ethnicity

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About Phillip

Goff's research focuses on the possibility that contextual explanations play an under-explored role in producing racial inequality. His research examines ways in which environmental factors can produce racially disparate outcomes. By translating this work into the field—particularly the contexts around policing—his research helps change the public narrative about what we call racism. 

Briefs

Podcast

Publications

"Seeing Black: Race, Crime, and Visual Processing" (with Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Valerie J. Purdie, and Paul G. Davies). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87, no. 6 (2004): 876-893.

Investigates the influence of stereotypic associations on visual processing in five studies. Suggests that some associations between social groups and concepts are bidirectional and operate as visual tuning devices—producing shifts in perception and attention of a sort likely to influence decision making and behavior.

"Not yet Human: Implicit Knowledge, Historical Dehumanization, and Contemporary Consequences" (with Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Melissa J. Williams, and Matthew Christian Jackson). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 2 (2008): 292-306.

Demonstrates that U.S. citizens implicitly associate Blacks and apes. Reveals how this association influences study participants' basic cognitive processes and significantly alters their judgments in criminal justice contexts. Argues that examining the subtle persistence of specific historical representations such as these may not only enhance contemporary research on dehumanization, stereotyping, and implicit processes but also highlight common forms of discrimination that previously have gone unrecognized.

"The Space Between Us: Stereotype Threat and Distance in Interracial Contexts" (with Claude M. Steele and Paul G. Davies). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94, no. 1 (2008): 91-107.

Investigates the role that stereotype threat plays in producing racial distancing behavior in an anticipated conversation paradigm within four studies. Discusses results within a broader discourse of racial distancing and the possibility that certain identity threats may be as important as prejudice in determining the outcomes of interracial interactions.

"The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children" (with Matthew Christian Jackson, Brooke Allison Lewis Di Leone, Carmen Marie Culotta, and Natalie Ann DiTomasso). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 106, no. 4 (2014): 526-545.

Examines whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. Tests 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less "childlike" than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes. Demonstrates that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. Suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.

"Justice from Within: The Relations Between a Procedurally Just Organizational Climate and Police Organizational Efficiency, Endorsement of Democratic Policing, and Officer Well-Being" (with Rick Trinkner and Tom R. Tyler). Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 22, no. 2 (2016): 158-172.

Examines the influence of a procedurally fair organizational climate on officer's organizational behavior, commitment to democratic policing, and well-being. Shows that when officers were in a procedurally fair department, they were more likely to trust and feel obligated to obey their supervisors, less likely to be psychologically and emotionally distressed, and less likely to be cynical and mistrustful about the world in general and the communities they police in particular. Supports the utility of infusing procedural justice into the internal working climate as a means to improve police officer job performance, their well-being, and their relationship with the communities they police.

"Protecting Whiteness: White Phenotypic Racial Stereotypically Reduces Police Use of Force" (with Kimberly Barsamian Kahn, J. Katherine Lee, and Diane Motamed). Social Psychology and Personality Science 7, no. 5 (2016): 403-411.

Examines intergroup bias via perceived suspect phenotypic racial stereotypicality (e.g. how strongly members possess physical features typical of their racial group) on severity of police use of force. Confirms that police used less force with highly stereotypical Whites, and this protective effect was stronger than the effect for non-Whites. Suggests that intragroup bias is a protective factor for Whites, but not for non-Whites, providing an additional route through which racial disparities in policing operate.

In the News

Phillip Atiba Goff's research on racist characterizations discussed in Brent Staples. Phillip Atiba Goff, "The Racist Trope That Won't Die," The New York Times, June 17, 2018.
"A Better Solution for Starbucks," Phillip Atiba Goff, New York Times,
Phillip Atiba Goff quoted on racial disparities in school discipline in Evie Blad and Corey Mitchell, "Black Students Bear Uneven Brunt of Discipline, Data Show" Education Week, May 1, 2018.
Phillip Atiba Goff quoted on public racial bias in Jamelle Bouie, Gene Demby, Aisha Harris, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, "Being Black in Public" Slate, April 19, 2018.
Phillip Atiba Goff quoted on police bias and racial bias in Camila Domonoske, "Starbucks Closing 8,000 Stores for an Afternoon, for Racial-Bias Education" WUFT-FM, April 17, 2018.
"Baton Rouge Shooting," Phillip Atiba Goff, Interview with Brian Williams, MSNBC, July 17, 2016.
"Oversights of Justice," Phillip Atiba Goff, Huffington Post, April 10, 2017.
"What Doom Feels Like," Phillip Atiba Goff, Huffington Post, August 17, 2017.
"On Stop-and-Frisk, We Can't Celebrate Just Yet," Phillip Atiba Goff, New York Times, January 7, 2018.
"Listening to Broward County's Silenced Students," Phillip Atiba Goff, Huffington Post, February 26, 2018.