Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Cheryl L Dickter

Committee Member

Josh Burk

Committee Member

Jaclyn Moloney


Despite the pervasiveness of autism (1 in 54), implicit and explicit attitudes towards people with ASD are mainly adverse (Cage et al., 2019). Although in recent years, more research has been conducted to investigate implicit attitudes towards other mental illnesses (Teachman, Wilson, & Komorovskaya, 2006) and physical disabilities (Nosek et al. 2007), few studies have assessed implicit and explicit attitudes toward adults with autism. The main goal of the study was to investigate Non-ASD individuals’ implicit and explicit attitudes toward autistic individuals. We hypothesized that participants would have negative implicit attitudes but report positive explicit attitudes towards autistic individuals, participants would be more likely to hire Non-ASD individuals than ASD individuals, employers would prefer Non-ASD individuals for social positions, but there would not be a significant difference for the non-social position, and negative implicit attitudes would predict hiring decisions towards ASD individuals. A two-way mixed modeled ANOVA was used to analyze the data to determine if there were interactions between (ASD x Non-ASD) and (Social Job x Non-Social Job). Correlational analyses were conducted between the implicit and explicit measures and the ASD variables. The Implicit Association Test was also used in this study to examine implicit attitudes towards autistic individuals. We found participants’ had negative implicit attitudes but reported positive explicit attitudes towards autistic individuals, participants’ IAT scores were significantly different from 0, and contact with autistic individuals is a good indicator of one’s attitudes and stigma.




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