Out of a sample of 220 British psychiatrists, 139 completed a questionnaire regarding a case vignette of a psychotic illness. The sex and ‘race’ of the vignette were varied and the responses compared. The Afro-Caribbean case was regarded as that of an illness of shorter duration, and requiring less neuroleptics than the white case. Respondents judged the Afro-Caribbean case as potentially more violent and thought criminal proceedings were more appropriate. The female vignette was perceived as less violent, less criminal, and less likely to need neuroleptics. Cannabis psychosis and acute reactive psychosis tended to be diagnosed more often and schizophrenia less often in Afro-Caribbean cases, refuting the claim that psychiatrists tend to overdiagnose schizophrenia in this group. Such ‘race thinking’ (a form of stereotyping which is distinct from ideological racism) could lead to inappropriate management.