Changing attitudes about stereotyped groups and critical thinking ability

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Authors
Hargrave, Stephanie Janae Stephens
Advisors
Burdsal, Charles A.
Issue Date
2006-05
Type
Dissertation
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Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between a change in stereotype rating of photographs and the critical thinking skill of the rater. The groups rated for the study were Black, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Skinhead, each represented by three photographs of male group members. Using an adjective checklist rating system, participants rated a photograph of a member of one of the three groups. The participants were administered the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Inventory (S) short form, and then presented with a biographical sketch relating to the initial photograph. The sketch was engineered to develop a middle class American identity for the person in the photograph, and the photograph was rated again. Results indicated that providing the biographical sketch significantly lowered the negative stereotype rating of the photograph for the second presentation. Additional analysis identified that a higher critical thinking ability was associated with a lower amount of overall change in the negative stereotype rating score. When the adjectives were separated into positive and negative adjectives, a higher critical thinking score had a stronger association with a change in the positive adjective scores, such that the photograph was viewed as more "likeable" the second time it was presented. Implications of the relationship between critical thinking and improved likeability of negatively stereotyped group members is discussed.

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Description
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
"May 2006."
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 33-41).
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