Data for: The Misperception of the Asian-White Wealth Gap

Published: 8 January 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/hvfz9dp3fg.1
Enya Entung Kuo, Michael Kraus, Jennifer Richeson


In this research, we test the central hypothesis that perceptions of Asian Americans as a homogeneous high status, “model minority” group leads to overestimates of the extent of wealth equality between Asian and White Americans. We test this general hypothesis across three studies that manipulate the salience of high or low status Asian American exemplars prior to soliciting estimates of Asian-White wealth equality. A meta-analysis of the results revealed that participants significantly overestimated Asian-White wealth equality, and that making low versus high status Asian American exemplars salient decreased this tendency. Results suggest that perceptions of Asian Americans as uniformly high status obscure existing wealth disparities relative to White Americans and significantly undermine acknowledgement of the economic inequality that burdens a subset of Asian Americans from less-prototypical ethnic backgrounds. These findings echo recent calls by sociologists and political scientists for a more nuanced understanding and appreciation of the diversity among the Asian American category in general and the wealth inequality that exists within Asian communities.



University of California Los Angeles, Yale School of Management, Yale University Department of Psychology


Psychology, Social Psychology, Social Cognition, Inequality