Date of Award

5-16-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Payne, Tabitha

Abstract

Research has consistently shown that implicit ethnic stereotypes about criminal behaviors are widely held within American society. The exact nature of the mental schemas that lead to these implicit biases, however, remains unexplained. Using an implicit priming task, the goal was to examine potential stereotypical associations between specific groups and criminal activity. Group photographs of four White, Latino, and Black male faces were used as implicit priming stimuli with participants making lexical decision for subsequent target letter strings, some of which were words related to drug-related and violent crime. Mean reaction time for target crime words was assessed in association with each group of face primes. Results revealed an interaction between primed photos and type of crime word, with group primes of Black males being significantly more associated with violent crime than either of the other group photos. This finding is convergent with other implicit association studies and furthers our understanding about the specific nature of mental schemas that lead to the development of stereotypes and the profiling of male minorities.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (p. 26-31)

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