Posted on May 12, 2023

Seeing Racial Avoidance on New York City Streets

Bryce J. Dietrich and Melissa L. Sands, Nature Human Behavior, May 4, 2023

Here, using publicly available traffic camera feeds in combination with a real-world field experiment, we examine how pedestrians of different races behave in the presence of racial out-group members. Across two different New York City neighbourhoods and 3,552 pedestrians, we generate an unobtrusive, large-scale measure of inter-group racial avoidance by measuring the distance individuals maintain between themselves and other racial groups. We find that, on average, pedestrians in our sample (93% of whom were phenotypically non-Black) give a wider berth to Black confederates, as compared with white non-Hispanic confederates.