Do beliefs about emotions and racial biases predict attention for angry and angry African-American faces?

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dc.contributor.advisor Amy Halberstadt, Committee Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Tom Hess, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Doug Gillan, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.author Dennis, Paul Anthony en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-02T18:08:58Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-02T18:08:58Z
dc.date.issued 2009-11-30 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-08242009-192222 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1935
dc.description.abstract Broadly speaking, attitudes and beliefs shape how we perceive the world around us (Balcetis & Dunning, 2007; Fazio, Chen, McDonel, & Sherman, 1982; Riskind, Moore, & Bowley, 1995; Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci, & Proffitt, 2008). For instance, people generally devote more attention to objects and events about which they feel strongly than to objects and events about which they do not (Roskos-Ewoldsen & Fazio, 1992). This observation was tested as it relates to people’s beliefs about negative emotions and their racial bias against African Americans. Specifically, people who believe that negative emotions are dangerous were hypothesized to pay greater attention to negative emotional expressions (as opposed to positive emotional expressions) than people who did not have strong beliefs about the danger of negative emotions. People who are biased against African Americans were hypothesized to pay greater attention to angry African Americans (as opposed to angry European Americans) than people who are not strongly biased against African Americans. To test these hypotheses, 138 college students participated in a dot-probe task, which measured the degree to which participants fixed their attention on angry vs. happy faces and angry African- American vs. angry European-American faces. Contrary to my prediction, participants with strong beliefs about the danger of negative emotions focused greater attention on happy vs. angry faces than did participants with weak beliefs about the danger of negative emotions, suggesting that participants with strong beliefs focused their attention away from angry faces in avoidance of those faces. There were no significant disparities in attention to angry African-American vs. angry European-American faces as a function of racial bias. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject IAT dot-probe en_US
dc.title Do beliefs about emotions and racial biases predict attention for angry and angry African-American faces? en_US
dc.degree.name MS en_US
dc.degree.level thesis en_US
dc.degree.discipline Psychology en_US


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