THOMAS CRAEMER, Ph.D.
Professor Craemer discovered survey research when he began investigating the psychology of race. His interest in racial attitudes was shaped by the experience of growing up struggling with his native Germany’s racist history. He couldn’t understand how a democratic country could turn fascist and violently racist within the span of a few years. More importantly he wondered ‘How could decent people like my own grandparents remain silent or go along and how would I have acted in their place?’,” he asks rhetorically.
By following his curiosity about that racist era of Germany, he discovered that survey research was a crucial tool for researchers in the United States to investigate the social and political psychology of race. After moving from Germany to the United States, he began using reaction time measures to tap people’s implicit racial attitudes and published a number of papers based on that research. Craemer also addressed the issue of racial divides in his research paper “Implicit Closeness to Blacks, Support for Affirmative Action, Slavery Reparations, and Vote Intentions for Barack Obama in the 2008 Elections,” which received the International Society of Political Psychology’s Roberta Sigel Award in 2010.