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The Effects of Race, Gender, and Clothing Style on Stereotype Activation

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Author: Hale, Andrew Douglas
Advisor: Dickter, Cheryl L.
Committee Members: Stefanucci, Jeanine; Danner, Jason
Issued Date: 2009-05-15
Subjects: Priming
Reaction time
Applied psychology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/1221
Description: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of race, gender, and clothing style on stereotype activation. A priming study was designed to determine if the categorization of stereotypic words (as determined by reaction time) would differ as a function of the presentation of prime pictures displaying social targets who differed by race, gender, and clothing style. Forty undergraduate participants took part in the study; their task was to respond with a button press as to whether the word presented after the prime was a positive or negative word. The primary hypothesis that race, gender, and clothing style would each affect the speed of stereotypical word categorization was not supported by the behavioral data. However, there was some evidence that participants' reaction times were affected by the type of word presented after the primes. Additionally, it was expected that negative words would be categorized faster following the presentation of target individuals wearing casual clothing as compared to more formal clothing; results provided support for this hypothesis with faster reaction times found for more professional clothing sets. Overall, hypotheses were partially supported, although several limitations of the study are noted. Implications for the stereotyping literature as well as applications for business settings are discussed.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Psychology

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