In June 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that a woman would replace Hamilton on the $10 bill. In April 2016, it announced that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, instead. After each announcement, we surveyed nationally representative samples of American adults and asked them what they thought of these proposed changes for the $10 bill (Study 1, N = 209) and the $20 bill (Study 2, N = 208). Predictors of currency preferences were gender, race, political affiliation and their respective prejudices and biases—sexism, racism, and political ideology. On the basis of social identity, system justification, and social dominance theories we predicted that privileged groups (i.e., males, Whites) and groups who desire to maintain the status quo (i.e., Republicans, conservatives, sexist and racist individuals) would prefer to leave Hamilton on the $10 bill and Jackson on the $20 bill. Results were consistent with these predictions: Overall, we found that under‐represented groups and more liberal individuals support the proposals from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. These findings suggest a bill of money is not just a piece of paper. The person depicted on U.S. currency can be perceived as an in‐group or out‐group member and this can affect judgements in line with relevant social psychological theories.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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