Ashby Plant

Ashby Plant
Florida State University | FSU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

100
Publications
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Introduction
Ashby Plant currently works at the Department of Psychology, Florida State University. Ashby does research in Social Psychology and Individual Differences. Her research focuses upon prejudice, stereotyping, and intergroup relations.

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Infection by parasites, bacteria, and other microorganisms has been a powerful selection pressure faced by humans and other species. Consequently, avoiding pathogens has played an important role in human evolution and continues to play a role in contemporary social psychological processes. The current research tested the hypothesis that pathogen av...
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Recently, major societal events have shaped perceptions of race relations in the US. The current work argues that people’s motivations to be nonprejudiced toward Black people have changed in concert with these broader societal forces. Analyses of two independent archival datasets reveal that nonprejudiced motivations changed predictably in accordan...
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Despite reductions in traditional racial prejudice among non-Hispanic and non-Latino White Americans, Black Americans regularly experience discrimination. We argue that bias persists because although many White Americans espouse nonracist beliefs, far fewer actively work to combat the societal and institutional discrimination that impedes social ch...
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How do people respond when their group’s power is threatened? Four studies suggest that threats to group power lead people to adhere to and invest in their group. When a personally important group’s power was threatened, people psychologically adhered to the group (Studies 1a and 1b). This adherence occurred among people who were high (but not low)...
Article
Two studies examine psychological and demographic factors that predict attitudes toward mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These studies differentiate pro-mask from anti-mask attitudes. Political conservatism, younger age, and gender predicted anti-mask attitudes but were unrelated to pro-mask attitudes. Psychological reactance was associat...
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Pathogen avoidance is an important motive underlying human behavior and is associated with numerous psychological processes—including biases against social groups heuristically associated with illness. Although there are reliable measurement scales to assess chronic dispositional levels of pathogen avoidance, no measurement scale currently exists t...
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Objective To describe the development, application, and benefits of a set of common data elements (CDE) utilized by the Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC). Approach: Civilian and military suicide research experts selected items from measures representing a broad range of suicide-specific constructs, and created new items for certain constr...
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Objective Unintentional drug overdose and suicide have emerged as public health problems. Prescription drug misuse can elevate risk of overdose. Severe suicidal ideation increases risk of suicide. We identified shared correlates of both risk factors to inform cross‐cutting prevention efforts. Methods We conducted a cross‐sectional study using the...
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Objective To describe the development and approach of a Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) core created within the Military Suicide Research Consortium, a funding consortium of the Department of Defense, to promote the D&I of findings from funded research. Approach The approach of the D&I Core is described as it developed over the past four ye...
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In 2017, Colin Kaepernick drew global attention by kneeling during the national anthem before a football game. The protest divided the country into two groups: those who supported Kaepernick’s stand against inequality and those who believed it was disrespectful. The current study investigates whether differences in moral values (i.e., fairness vs....
Preprint
In 2017, Colin Kaepernick drew global attention by kneeling during the national anthem before a football game. The protest divided the country into two groups: those who supported Kaepernick’s stand against inequality, and those who believed it was disrespectful. The current study investigates whether differences in moral values (i.e., fairness vs....
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As society becomes increasingly racially diverse, fostering positive interracial interactions is more important than ever. Unfortunately, previous work suggests that there are barriers to positive interracial interactions including White people's concerns about being liked and being seen as nonprejudiced and Black people's concerns about being resp...
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Objective Here, we provide an experimental test of the relationship between levels of proinflammatory cytokines and present-focused decision-making. Methods We examined whether increases in salivary levels of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β and interleukin-6) engendered by visually priming immunologically-relevant threats (pathogen threa...
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This study examined how insomnia severity and a positive traumatic brain injury (TBI) screen relate to suicidal outcomes across military branches. Data were compiled from 1,635 participants across seven studies. A series of analyses were conducted by military branch to identify which significantly differed on the variables of interest. A series of...
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Moral values bind communities together and foster cooperation, yet these same values can lead to the derogation and marginalization of outgroups. Five studies tested a theoretical framework proposing that preferentially endorsing moral values of sanctity versus care (the sanctity–care trade-off) produces a motivational bias whereby people perceive...
Preprint
Full-text available
Moral values bind communities together and foster cooperation; yet, these same values can lead to the derogation and marginalization of outgroups. Five studies test a theoretical framework proposing that preferentially endorsing moral values of sanctity versus care (the sanctity-care tradeoff) produces a motivational bias whereby people perceive se...
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In response to the persistent threat of illness, a coordinated set of psychological mechanisms evolved to protect people (and other organisms) against possible exposure to pathogens. Some research suggests that pathogen avoidance is associated with morality, specifically a greater emphasis on moral values that bind groups together and prioritize un...
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Following 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, anti‐Muslim antipathy dramatically escalated in the United States. We argue that a major contributor to this hostility is endorsement of Right‐Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) because people high in RWA tend to respond aggressively toward groups that they view as threatening particularly when they per...
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Past research has shown that humans possess implicit associations that, when activated, affect subsequent behavior. In three studies, we demonstrated a novel implicit association held by some men: an association between women and birds. Additionally, we demonstrated three consequences of possessing and activating a Women‐Birds association. For thos...
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Objective: This study examined how a positive traumatic brain injury (TBI) screening and insomnia severity relates to suicidal outcomes across active duty, veteran, and civilian samples. Methods: Data were used from 3,993 participants from 19 studies. We conducted a series of analyses by group to identify which significantly differed on the variabl...
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Gay men and lesbians experience bigotry at alarmingly high rates. Traditionally, researchers have focused on reducing sexual prejudice; however, research indicates that heterosexuals’ concerns about being misidentified as gay/lesbian also contribute to the derogation of gay/lesbian individuals. Thus, reducing misidentification concerns is a critica...
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Women are vastly underrepresented in the fields of computer science and engineering (CS&E). We examined whether women might view the intellectual characteristics of prototypical individuals in CS&E in more stereotype-consistent ways than men might and, consequently, show less interest in CS&E. We asked 269 U.S. college students (187, 69.5% women) t...
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The Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC) developed a 57-item questionnaire assessing suicide risk factors, referred to as the Common Data Elements (CDEs), in order to facilitate data sharing and improve collaboration across independent studies. All studies funded by MSRC are required to include the CDEs in their assessment protocol. The CDEs...
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We examined the role of both suspect race and socioeconomic status (SES) on shooting decisions during a first-person shooter task. Two studies revealed that both suspect race and SES influenced shooting decisions. Non-Black participants shot armed high-SES Black suspects faster than armed high-SES White suspects and responded “don't shoot” faster f...
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The election of Barack Obama as the first African American to be President of the United States was a momentous event. Because the U.S. constituency (including its majority, Whites) elected an individual who defied history and negative stereotypes, pundits concluded that the U.S. had entered a new "post-racial" era. Indeed, social cognition scienti...
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Across two studies we examined whether exposure to Obama, a positive and counter-stereotypic exemplar, reduced implicit anti-Black evaluative bias and racial stereotyping. Additionally, we evaluated whether reactions to exposure to Obama were moderated by people's explicit feelings about Obama or their perceptions of his stereotypicality. In Study...
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Research indicates that antigay bias follows a specific pattern (and probably has throughout written history, at least in the West): (a) men evince more antigay bias than women; (b) men who belong to traditionally male coalitions evince more antigay bias than those who do not; © antigay bias is targeted more at gay men than at lesbians; and (d) ant...
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Social contagion concerns, heterosexuals’ fears about being misidentified as gay/lesbian, can lead to avoidant and hostile responses toward gay men/lesbians. We argue that apprehension about becoming the target of prejudice if misidentified as gay/lesbian contributes to contagion concerns. We hypothesized that exposing heterosexuals to others’ nonp...
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Throughout society, White people of low socioeconomic status (SES) face prejudice, often from racial ingroup members. The present research tested the ingroup distancing effect, which predicts that Whites’ negative reactions to low-SES ingroup members are motivated responses to perceived threats to their personal and group-level status. To cope with...
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For some people, religion strongly influences their worldviews. We propose that religious outgroups threaten the foundational beliefs of people with strong religious worldviews (RWVs) by endorsing alternative belief systems and that this threat contributes to religious prejudice. To examine these ideas, we developed a measure of RWV strength and as...
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As a result of prevalent pressure to inhibit prejudice, racial minorities may wonder whether White people’s nonprejudiced behavior is primarily motivated by personal commitments to egalitarianism (i.e., internal motivation) or superficial efforts to appear nonprejudiced (i.e., external motivation). The present work investigated whether minority gro...
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Moral licensing, whereby behaving morally allows a person to subsequently behave immorally, has been demonstrated in numerous experiments. The current research examined the effects of prospective moral licensing: how planning to perform a future moral behavior affects the morality of current behavior. Across four studies we explored whether anticip...
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Police officers make life-or-death shooting decisions in complex situations under extreme time pressure. If officers make a mistake, there are dire consequences-they could kill an innocent or be killed themselves. In contrast to prior work's near-exclusive focus on suspect race, the present study examined features of methodology, officers, suspects...
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Recent research has demonstrated that concerns about being misidentified as gay or lesbian lead to the avoidance of gay men and lesbians. Because being misidentified as gay/lesbian can result in the loss of heterosexual people's mating opportunities, we predicted that the activation of mating motives would heighten concerns among some heterosexuals...
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Although accumulating research indicates that negative expectations about interracial interactions undermine the quality of such interactions, little research has examined the factors that moderate the influence of negative expectations on responses to interracial interactions. We propose that individuals who endorse work-related ideologies such...
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Membership in a valued group can provide an individual with a variety of benefits. As a result, people should be motivated to avoid being misidentified as a member of an outgroup, particularly a stigmatized outgroup. We argue that when group membership is not readily identifiable, concern over potentially being mistaken for a member of the outgroup...
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Over 10 years of research has illustrated the benefits of internal motivation to respond without prejudice (IMS) for prejudice regulation and high-quality intergroup contact (see Plant & Devine, 1998). Yet, it is unclear how this motivation develops. The current work tested one route through which feelings of acceptance from outgroup members facili...
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Because hostile outgroup members have been a recurrent source of danger, self-protective motivation leads people to display psychological processes that reduce vulnerability to outgroup threats. The current research examines the consequences of self-protective motivation for intergroup behavior. The current research provides evidence that self-prot...
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White police officers and undergraduate students mistakenly shoot unarmed Black suspects more than White suspects on computerized shoot/don't shoot tasks. This bias is typically attributed to cultural stereotypes of Black men. Yet, previous research has not examined whether such biases emerge even in the absence of cultural stereotypes. The current...
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This article presents an evolutionary framework for identifying the characteristics people use to categorize members of their social world. Findings suggest that fundamental social motives lead people to implicitly categorize social targets based on whether those targets display goal-relevant phenotypic traits. A mate-search prime caused participan...
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Extensive work over the past decade has shown that race can bias perceptions and responses to threat. However, the previous work focused almost exclusively on responses to men and overlooked how gender and the interaction of race and gender influence decisions regarding use of force. In the current article, two studies examine the implications of g...
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The present research experimentally evaluated whether exposure to Barack Obama, a positive counter-stereotypic exemplar, can result in a decrease in implicit anti-Black prejudice among non-Black participants. In order to undo any existing influence of exposure to Obama, we first exposed some participants to negative Black exemplars. Participants we...
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Unlike gender, race, or ethnicity, sexual orientation is not necessarily readily identifiable. The current work tests whether the timing of disclosure of sexual orientation influences reactions to intergroup interactions. Participants in two studies anticipated interacting with a partner for a study of first-time interactions. Prior to the interact...
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Leading up to the 2008 U.S. election, pundits wondered whether Whites, particularly in Southern states, were ready to vote for a Black president. The present paper explores how a common Southern symbol—the Confederate flag—impacted willingness to vote for Barack Obama. We predicted that exposure to the Confederate flag would activate negativity tow...
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The current work examined Black and White people’s expectancies for interracial interactions. Across two studies, we found that Black people, compared to White people, had more positive past interracial contact, which statistically explained Black compared to White people’s greater self-efficacy for interracial interactions. This self-efficacy, in...
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The current work examined factors that contribute to positive interracial interactions. It argues that the source of people's motivation to respond without prejudice and the goals and strategies they pursue in interracial interactions influence the quality of these interactions. Three studies show that non-Black participants who are highly internal...
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Committed romantic relationships confer important benefits to psychological health and well-being. However, to effectively maintain these relationships, individuals must avoid threats posed by the temptation of attractive relationship alternatives. Previous work has demonstrated that individuals in committed relationships consciously downplay the a...
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Background This study explored the use of interface agents, anthropomorphic, 3D-animated computer characters that provide teaching or mentoring within a computer-based learning environment, to encourage young Black and White women to pursue careers in engineering. Purpose (Hypothesis) We hypothesized that computer-based models that matched young wo...
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Women’s under-representation in fields such as engineering may result in part from female students’ negative beliefs regarding these fields and their low self-efficacy for these fields. In this experiment, we investigated the use of animated interface agents as social models for changing male and female middle-school students’ attitudes toward engi...
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A decade of research indicates that individual differences in motivation to respond without prejudice have important implications for the control of prejudice and interracial relations. In reviewing this work, we draw on W. Mischel and Y. Shoda's (1995, 1999) Cognitive-Affective Processing System (CAPS) to demonstrate that people with varying sourc...
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This project explores the impact of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and the resulting high levels of exposure to a positive, counter-stereotypic Black exemplar, on prejudice and stereotyping among non-Black participants. We found dramatically decreased levels of implicit anti-Black prejudice and stereotyping as compared with bias observed prev...
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This experiment was a systematic examination of how drinking, available response time, and levels of internal and external motivations to respond without prejudice interact to affect responses in a behavioral assessment of the race bias of social drinkers. Ninety-one white undergraduate social drinkers (45 women) were randomly assigned within gende...
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To date, there is little direct evidence that people who are motivated to respond without prejudice actively work to reduce their prejudice. The authors explored people's efforts to control prejudice for an upcoming interracial interaction. They proposed that people who were motivated to respond without prejudice should exert effort to control prej...
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Prejudice and stereotyping cause social problems and intergroup tension. The current work examined whether bolstering self-control by giving participants glucose would reduce stereotype use for an impression formation task. Previous work has demonstrated that self-control depends on biologically expensive brain processes that consume energy derived...
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The present work explored the influence of emergency severity on racial bias in helping behavior. Three studies placed participants in staged emergencies and measured differences in the speed and quantity of help offered to Black and White victims. Consistent with predictions, as the level of emergency increased, the speed and quality of help White...
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Two studies examine Hispanic and non-Hispanic White people's responses to interethnic interactions. Consistent with previous findings regarding White/Black interactions, participants who had negative expectations about intergroup interactions reported more anger and anxiety about interethnic interactions. These negative emotional responses, in turn...
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The current work investigates the use of interface agents as anthropomorphic social models to influence young women’s negative beliefs and low self-efficacy regarding engineering. Experiment 1 focused on the impact of agent model visual presence vs. voice alone for changing the women’s beliefs. Based on literature on human social models we hypothes...
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Four studies indicate that mortality salience increases adherence to social norms and values, but only when cultural norms and values are salient. In Study 1, mortality salience coupled with a reminder about cultural values of egalitarianism reduced prejudice toward Blacks among non-Black participants. In Studies 2 through 4, a mortality salience i...
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The broaden-and-build theory ( [7] and [8]) predicts that positive emotions broaden the scopes of attention and cognition, thereby facilitating the building of personal resources and initiating upward spirals toward increasing emotional well-being. This study attempts to replicate and extend previous empirical support for this model. Using a sample...
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We evaluated associations between serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) genotypes, affect, and depressive and anxious symptoms, using as context the tripartite model of depression and anxiety. It was hypothesized that the short allele would be associated with generalized negative affect, but not with somatic anxiety or subjective anxiety; the associatio...
Conference Paper
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Anchored in social agency theory, recent research has emphasized the importance of anthropomorphic interface agents’ voice to impact learning-related outcomes. Nevertheless, literature on human social models suggests that the appearance of an interface agent may have important implications for its ability to influence attitudes and self-efficacy. T...
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Three studies examined the implications of nationalistic ideologies and exposure to the U.S. flag for the activation of egalitarian concepts and outgroup hostility. Study 1 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to the U.S. flag activated participants' egalitarian concepts. In Study 2, highly nationalistic participants who were exposed to the U.S. f...
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The present work suggests that self-control relies on glucose as a limited energy source. Laboratory tests of self-control (i.e., the Stroop task, thought suppression, emotion regulation, attention control) and of social behaviors (i.e., helping behavior, coping with thoughts of death, stifling prejudice during an interracial interaction) showed th...
Article
Three longitudinal studies and one correlational study tested the hypothesis that increasing self-regulatory strength by regular self-regulatory exercise would reduce the intrapsychic costs of suppressing stereotypes. Participants tried to resist using stereotypes while describing or talking to a stimulus person. Participants whose habitual motivat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Women's under-representation in fields such as engineering may result in part from female students' negative beliefs regarding these fields and their low self-efficacy for these fields. Empirical evidence indicates that computer-generated interface agents are effective in influencing students' interest, motivation, attitudes, and self-efficacy. Hen...
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In 2 studies, the authors investigated the determinants of anger and approach-related intentions and behavior toward outgroup members in interracial interactions. In Study 1, White and Black participants who were led to believe that their interracial interaction partner was not open to an upcoming interaction reported heightened anger and approach-...
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The present work investigated whether an approach used previously to eliminate racial bias in decisions to shoot criminal suspects could eliminate racial bias in the identification of sporting equipment and whether people's motivation to respond without prejudice influences the elimination of bias on a computer simulation program. Participants were...
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The current work examined the causes and consequences of non-Black people's desire to avoid interracial interactions (an avoidance-focus). Expecting to respond with racial bias in inter-racial interactions was argued to result in an avoidance-focus for such interactions, which was hypothesized to have negative implications for the quality of interr...
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The current work explored law enforcement officers' racial bias in decisions to shoot criminal suspects as well as their self-reported beliefs about Black versus White suspects. In addition, this work examined what factors contribute to officers' racial biases and the likelihood of having these biases eliminated. Examination of the officers' explic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This experimental study investigated the impact of interface agent appearance (age, gender, "coolness") on enhancing undergraduate females' attitudes toward engineering. Results revealed that participants reported more positive stereotypes of engineers after interacting with a female agent. In contrast, participants interacting with a male agent re...
Article
Excessive reassurance-seeking has been proposed as a key variable in the development of a depressive spiral in which a dysphoric individual increasingly alienates significant others and thereby compounds his or her own depressive symptoms. Whereas previous research has substantiated an association between reassurance-seeking and depression, this st...
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Based on Plant and Devine's (1998) measures of Internal and External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice toward Blacks, new scales were developed to assess Internal and External Motivation to Respond Without Sexism (IMS-S and EMS-S, respectively). The scales possess good psychometric properties. Providing evidence of convergent and discriminant...
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In a biracial sample of community dwelling elders (n=4162, the Duke EPESE), African-Americans endorsed more items than Whites on a standardized depression scale, the CES-D, in unadjusted, cross-sectional analyses. However, indices of socioeconomic status (e.g., education and problems meeting needs) were found to mediate the relationship between rac...
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An association between depression and cognitive decline (CD) has been observed in cross-sectional and case/control studies of elderly populations. Whereas a handful of longitudinal community studies have found depressive symptoms to predate the onset of CD, others have found no association between depression and subsequent cognitive dysfunction. Th...