Date of Publication

5-2011

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jennifer J. Ratcliff, PhD

Abstract

Recent research on social distancing and intergroup relations focuses on the black sheep effect—the notion that individuals will distance themselves from deviant group members—and out-group discrimination (Johns et al., 2005), but does not examine the relationship between the black sheep effect and negative attitudes. Additionally, research suggests that the degree to which prejudice is detected varies with the type of prejudice expressed—blatant or subtle (Meertens & Pettigrew, 1997). The current research tested whether the type of sexual prejudice expressed by members of one’s in-group, influences the amount that individuals identify with their in-group and the individual expressing prejudice. Participants were exposed to either blatant or subtle prejudice and completed several questionnaires assessing identification with their in-group and the individual expressing prejudice. Results revealed that exposure to blatant prejudice was related to greater social distancing from the individual expressing prejudice and one’s in-group than exposure to subtle prejudice.

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