Sinclair, H. Colleen
Adams-Price, Carolyn E.
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
MSU Only Indefinitely
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
We examined how social norms and confrontations by targets of prejudice influence opinions of gay rights. During an experimental discussion participants were assigned to a 2 (Target: gay target present vs. Christian non-target present) x 2 (Social Support: no group support vs. support from 3 confederates) design. Dependent variables included participants’ public votes on gay rights policies, private post-discussion attitudes, and post-discussion reactions toward the discussion. Results showed that participants exposed to a group showed greater public endorsement of gay-rights than those interacting with the target alone. Gay targets facilitated greater public advocacy for gay rights than Christian targets, despite reporting more negative reactions post-discussion. Overall, participants became more pro-gay rights after the discussion, regardless of condition. These results support the role of social norms in reducing prejudice but also suggest that, contrary to the self-interest rule, targets of prejudice may garner greater support by standing up for their rights.
Cockrell, William Thomas, "Do Social Norms or Self-Interest Rule? Comparing the Power of Social Norms and Targets of Prejudice on Symbolic Prejudice in a Group Discussion" (2013). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 1554.
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