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Personal Memories and Social Associations: How Positive Emotions Influence the Activation of Implicit Prejudices

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab and White individuals with "good" and "bad" evaluations. We hypothesized that nurturant love would increase the strength of negative evaluations of Arab individuals and positive evaluations of White individuals, whereas awe would decrease the strength of these negative evaluations when compared to a neutral condition. However, we found that both awe and nurturant love increased negative implicit prejudices toward Arab individuals when compared to the neutral condition.

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2018-05

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Transcendence of prejudice or transcendence with prejudice?: stronger beliefs regarding transcendence are correlated with greater Intergroup bias

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Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward

Recent research has identified affirmation of transcendence and exposure to violent Bible verses as being related to greater prejudice toward value-violating out-groups (Blogowska & Saroglou, 2012; Shen et al., 2013). Effects of exposure to specific Bible verses on attitudes toward out-groups have not been measured in combination with the Post-Critical Belief Scale developed by Hutsebaut (1996). The relationships between exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice, affirmation vs. disaffirmation of transcendence, literal vs. symbolic processing of religious content, and prejudice toward value-violating out-groups were examined using an online survey administered to a sample of U.S. adults (N=283). Greater affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to greater prejudice toward atheists and homosexuals and more favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people. Lower affirmation of transcendence scores were linked to less favorable ratings of Christians and highly religious people and more favorable ratings of atheists. Exposure to scriptural endorsements of prejudice did not have a significant effect on levels of prejudice in this study.

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2013

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Multilevel potential outcome models for causal inference in jury research

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Recent advances in hierarchical or multilevel statistical models and causal inference using the potential outcomes framework hold tremendous promise for mock and real jury research. These advances enable researchers to explore how individual jurors can exert a bottom-up effect on

Recent advances in hierarchical or multilevel statistical models and causal inference using the potential outcomes framework hold tremendous promise for mock and real jury research. These advances enable researchers to explore how individual jurors can exert a bottom-up effect on the jury’s verdict and how case-level features can exert a top-down effect on a juror’s perception of the parties at trial. This dissertation explains and then applies these technical advances to a pre-existing mock jury dataset to provide worked examples in an effort to spur the adoption of these techniques. In particular, the paper introduces two new cross-level mediated effects and then describes how to conduct ecological validity tests with these mediated effects. The first cross-level mediated effect, the a1b1 mediated effect, is the juror level mediated effect for a jury level manipulation. The second cross-level mediated effect, the a2bc mediated effect, is the unique contextual effect that being in a jury has on the individual the juror. When a mock jury study includes a deliberation versus non-deliberation manipulation, the a1b1 can be compared for the two conditions, enabling a general test of ecological validity. If deliberating in a group generally influences the individual, then the two indirect effects should be significantly different. The a2bc can also be interpreted as a specific test of how much changes in jury level means of this specific mediator effect juror level decision-making.

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2015

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Differential perceptions of LGBT individuals: the intersectionality of sexual orientation and gender

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Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect

Current research on anti-gay attitudes has focused heavily on heterosexuals versus

non-heterosexuals, with very little research delving into the differences within these “non-heterosexual” groups. The author conducted an exploratory analysis of how the intersectional effect of gender and sexual orientation affect perceptions of target groups’ gender and sexuality, which in turn might explain different levels of prejudice toward LGBT subgroups. Based on previous studies, the author hypothesized that participants would believe that a gay male has a more fixed sexuality than a lesbian, leading in turn to higher levels of moral outrage. This study further aims to extend the literature to perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals by testing competing hypotheses. Participants might feel less moral outrage toward these groups than other LGBT subgroups because they believe their sexuality is even less fixed than lesbians’. Alternatively, participants might feel more moral outrage toward bisexual and transgender targets (versus other LGBT groups) because of the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty about these groups’ sexuality and/or gender. Overall, participants demonstrated an interactive effect of gender and sexuality on factors including perceived sexual orientation, perceived biological sex, perceived gender identity, perceived sexual fixedness, and moral outrage rather than gender having a main effect on perceptions of gender and sexual orientation having a main effect on perceptions of sexuality. Furthermore, perceptions of sexual fixedness mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for heterosexual target groups, but not gay targets. Gender certainty mediated the effect of gender on moral outrage for pre-op transgender target groups, but not heterosexuals. This work is important to inform future research on the topics of the intersection of sexuality and gender, especially to extend the limited literature on perceptions of bisexual and transgender individuals.

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2016

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Opposing experts, relative judgments and the reemergence of the neuroimage bias

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There is conflicting evidence regarding whether a biasing effect of neuroscientific evidence exists. Early research warned of such bias, but more recent papers dispute such claims, with some suggesting a bias only occurs in situations of relative judgment, but not

There is conflicting evidence regarding whether a biasing effect of neuroscientific evidence exists. Early research warned of such bias, but more recent papers dispute such claims, with some suggesting a bias only occurs in situations of relative judgment, but not in situations of absolute judgment. The current studies examined the neuroimage bias within both criminal and civil court case contexts, specifically exploring if a bias is dependent on the context in which the neuroimage evidence is presented (i.e. a single expert vs. opposing experts). In the first experiment 408 participants read a criminal court case summary in which either one expert witness testified (absolute judgment) or two experts testified (relative judgment). The experts presented neurological evidence in the form of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and the evidence type varied between a brain image and a graph. A neuroimage bias was found, in that jurors who were exposed to two experts were more punitive when the prosecution presented the image and less punitive when the defense did. In the second experiment 240 participants read a summary of a civil court case in which either a single expert witness testified or two experts testified. The experts presented fMRI data to support or refute a claim of chronic pain and the evidence type again varied between image and graph. The expected neuroimage bias was not found, in that jurors were more likely to find in favor of the plaintiff when either side proffered the image, but more likely to find for the defense when only graphs were offered by the experts. These findings suggest that the introduction of neuroimages as evidence may affect jurors punitiveness in criminal cases, as well as liability decisions in civil cases and overall serves to illustrate that the influence of neuroscientific information on legal decision makers is more complex than originally thought.

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Date Created
2016

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The impact of recanted false confession types and clarified instructions on jury decision making

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A substantial amount of research has been dedicated to understanding how and why innocent people confess to crimes that they did not commit. Unfortunately, false confessions occur even with the best possible interrogation practices. This study aimed to examine how

A substantial amount of research has been dedicated to understanding how and why innocent people confess to crimes that they did not commit. Unfortunately, false confessions occur even with the best possible interrogation practices. This study aimed to examine how different types of false confession (voluntary, compliance, and internalization) and the use of jury instructions specific to confessions influences jurors’ verdicts. A sample of 414 participants read a criminal trial case summary that presented one of four reasons why the defendant falsely confessed followed by either the standard jury instruction for confessions or a clarified version. Afterwards, participants completed several items assessing the perceived guilt of the defendant, their attitudes on confessions in general, and their opinions on jury instructions. Although the three confession reasons did not differ among one another, jurors who were given no explanation for the false confession tended to more harshly judge the defendant. Further, the clarified jury instructions did not influence the participants’ judgments. Future research should focus on how expert witness testimonies affect verdicts regarding each type of false confession reason and whether the media may influence a juror’s knowledge of factors that could provoke false confessions.

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2017

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Pray Harder: Stigma and Support-Seeking Among Religious Persons With Mental Illness

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An expanse of research has demonstrated that persons with mental illness (PWMI) tend to avoid formal psychological treatment.One possible explanation for this failure to pursue formal treatment is the tendency of religious individuals to construe mental illness as spiritual in

An expanse of research has demonstrated that persons with mental illness (PWMI) tend to avoid formal psychological treatment.One possible explanation for this failure to pursue formal treatment is the tendency of religious individuals to construe mental illness as spiritual in nature, leading religious communities to actively discourage emotional and psychological help-seeking through non-spiritual means. The present study examined help-seeking behaviors among religious PWMI by examining the impact of religiosity and gender on the relationship between mental illness stigma and help-seeking behaviors. Results indicate that higher levels of perceived stigma and religious salience relate to higher reported indirect support-seeking (ISS). Moreover, only religious salience appears to significantly relate to ISS among men, whereas perceived mental illness stigma significantly predicts direct and indirect support-seeking behaviors among women.

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2020