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February 12, 2019 | 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Faculty/Administration #2339 | Map
656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

The Humanities Center is proud to present as a part of its Brown Bag Series, a talk by Gerald Roman Nowak III, Sociology, Graduate Student (in collaboration with Zachary Brewster, Sociology, Associate Professor)


This study aims to assess whether, and under what conditions, restaurant patrons’ evaluate Black servers differently (e.g., more punitively) than comparable White servers. To explore this  research question, I collected survey data from 1,181 Amazon M-Turk workers who reside in the United States.  These participants were asked to read a hypothetical dining vignette wherein servers’ race (Black/White), gender (male/female), and service quality (poor/average/excellent) were randomly manipulated.  Following the vignette, participants were asked a series of questions designed to solicit information about their perceptions of and likely reactions to the service encounter portrayed in the vignette.  These questions were used to construct four independent measures of consumer appraisals of the hypothetical dining experience—likelihood of being satisfied, leaving a tip, lodging a complaint, and expressing incivility. While consumers’ appraisals of the hypothetical service encounter were found to be sensitive to the service quality manipulation in a predicable fashion (e.g., service quality was predictive of greater satisfaction, bigger tip, etc.) I find little evidence to suggest that consumers evaluate Black servers more punitively than comparable White servers. In addition to discussing my results, the applied and theoretical implications of this project’s findings will be delineated in this presentation.

These talks are free and open to the public! We also provide free coffee, tea, and cake!

For more information about this event, please contact Humanities Center at 3135775471 or