Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Cheryl L Dickter

Committee Member

Jennifer A Stevens

Committee Member

Joanna Schug


The positive effects of intergroup contact on prejudice reduction have been well established, with prior research demonstrating that real or imagined contact with outgroup members can reduce implicit and explicit racial bias (e.g., Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006; Turner, Crisp, & Lambert, 2007). The current research assessed non-Latinos’ to more closely examine the relationship between contact and explicit bias (Study 1) and implicit bias (Study 2) towards Latinos. Additionally, this work examined if imagining a contact scenario with a Latino stranger was sufficient in reducing bias compared to those imagining contact with a stranger of unspecified race/ethnicity and if this effect could be mediated by alleviation of each integrated threat theory classifications (realistic threat, symbolic threat, intergroup anxiety, and negative stereotypes; Stephan & Stephan, 1996). Study 1 results indicated that the individuals with more close, current contact with Latinos exhibited lower explicit bias towards this racial/ethnic group. Study 2 replicated Study 1’s finding that current, close contact predicted explicit bias to an extent, although Study 2 provided little evidence to support that current, close contact is a predictor of implicit bias (i.e., stereotypic associations, attention allocation, and affect) towards Latinos. Study 3’s manipulation of imagined contact did not yield differences in biases (neither implicit nor explicit) between the two groups. However, there were significant relationships between implicit associations, explicit biases, and each of the four threat classifications. This research has broad implications for the contact hypothesis literature and for non-Latino/Latino interactions in everyday life. Future research should continue examining non-Latino and Latino intergroup interactions to help determine mechanisms to reduce bias.



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