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Ironic Effects of Antiprejudice Messages: How Motivational Interventions Can Reduce (but Also Increase) Prejudice

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Although prejudice-reduction policies and interventions abound, is it possible that some of them result in the precise opposite of their intended effect--an increase in prejudice? We examined this question by exploring the impact of motivation-based prejudice-reduction interventions and assessing whether certain popular practices might in fact increase prejudice. In two experiments, participants received detailed information on, or were primed with, the goal of prejudice reduction; the information and primes either encouraged autonomous motivation to regulate prejudice or emphasized the societal requirement to control prejudice. Ironically, motivating people to reduce prejudice by emphasizing external control produced more explicit and implicit prejudice than did not intervening at all. Conversely, participants in whom autonomous motivation to regulate prejudice was induced displayed less explicit and implicit prejudice compared with no-treatment control participants. We outline strategies for effectively reducing prejudice and discuss the detrimental consequences of enforcing antiprejudice standards.
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Psychological Science
22(12) 1472 –1477
© The Author(s) 2011
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DOI: 10.1177/0956797611427918
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As multiculturalism rises, initiatives aimed at reducing preju-
dice proliferate in schools, workplaces, and communities. Pro-
grams claiming to reduce racism abound—invoking the notion
that prejudice should be battled against or eliminated. To name
only a few, the Partners Against Hate (2003) project promotes
the “fight against” hate violence, the Anti-Prejudice Consor-
tium (2011) is an organization devoted to “exerting power
over prejudice,” and the Government of Canada’s Citizenship
and Immigration Department (2011) currently espouses a Rac-
ism. Stop it! campaign in schools throughout the country, call-
ing for the “elimination” of racial discrimination and
symbolizing the “stamping out” of prejudice. Policymakers in
North America spend billions of dollars annually on prejudice
interventions (Hansen, 2003), yet very few of these are actu-
ally based on sound evidence (Paluck & Green, 2009). Is it
possible, then, that certain common prejudice-reduction strate-
gies actually increase prejudice?
Research on prejudice reduction is plentiful. Critics sug-
gest, however, that this work is rarely translational, and the
interventions that have been developed on the basis of such
research have typically been impractical (Cameron & Turner,
2010). To counter these critiques, we took a new direction in
prejudice reduction, using fundamental principles of motiva-
tion. We examined whether prejudice can be diminished by
boosting the motivational structures underlying the regulation
of prejudice. Similarly, we asked whether prejudice reduction
can be undermined by enhancing the wrong kind of motiva-
tion. In short, we explored how targeting different types of
motivation to reduce prejudice succeeds and backfires.
Motivation to Regulate Prejudice
Anchored by self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985,
2002), a growing body of research has demonstrated that the
self-regulation of prejudice varies in the extent to which it
is autonomous, or self-determined (Devine, Plant, Amodio,
Harmon-Jones, & Vance, 2002; Legault, Green-Demers,
Grant, & Chung, 2007; Plant & Devine, 1998). Thus, one’s
motivation to regulate prejudice can stem from personal, self-
endorsed reasons, or it can satisfy external controls or incen-
tives. Individuals with a controlled motivation to regulate
prejudice are motivated to reduce prejudice for external rea-
sons (e.g., pressure, fear). They might suppress racism because
Corresponding Author:
Lisa Legault, University of Toronto, 1265 Military Trail, Toronto M1C 1A4,
Ontario, Canada
E-mail: lisa.legault@utoronto.ca
Ironic Effects of Antiprejudice Messages:
How Motivational Interventions Can
Reduce (but Also Increase) Prejudice
Lisa Legault, Jennifer N. Gutsell, and Michael Inzlicht
University of Toronto Scarborough
Abstract
Although prejudice-reduction policies and interventions abound, is it possible that some of them result in the precise opposite
of their intended effect—an increase in prejudice? We examined this question by exploring the impact of motivation-
based prejudice-reduction interventions and assessing whether certain popular practices might in fact increase prejudice. In
two experiments, participants received detailed information on, or were primed with, the goal of prejudice reduction;
the information and primes either encouraged autonomous motivation to regulate prejudice or emphasized the societal
requirement to control prejudice. Ironically, motivating people to reduce prejudice by emphasizing external control produced
more explicit and implicit prejudice than did not intervening at all. Conversely, participants in whom autonomous motivation to
regulate prejudice was induced displayed less explicit and implicit prejudice compared with no-treatment control participants.
We outline strategies for effectively reducing prejudice and discuss the detrimental consequences of enforcing antiprejudice
standards.
Keywords
motivation, prejudice
Received 3/12/11; Revision accepted 6/21/11
Research Report
Reducing Prejudice 1473
they seek approval from others or because social norms require
that prejudice be avoided. Conversely, individuals with a self-
determined motivation to regulate prejudice are motivated by
internal factors, such as the personal relevance and importance
of striving to be nonprejudiced. For such individuals, the pur-
suit of nonprejudice is valuable and enjoyable, and energized
by the satisfaction gleaned from intergroup relations.
Evidence suggests that, compared with individuals who
have a self-determined motivation to regulate prejudice, those
with a controlled motivation demonstrate greater racial bias
(Amodio, Harmon-Jones, & Devine, 2003; Devine et al.,
2002; Legault, Green-Demers, & Eadie, 2009; Legault et al.,
2007; Plant, Devine, & Peruche, 2010) and tend to express
resentment in response to pro-Black pressure (Plant & Devine,
2001). However, to our knowledge, motivation to regulate
prejudice has been assessed only at the level of individual dif-
ferences. There has been no investigation into whether self-
determined and controlled motivation to regulate prejudice
can be manipulated and go on to influence prejudice. Thus, we
asked: What happens when people are encouraged to control
prejudice for external reasons? Could this actually increase
prejudice? In contrast, what if people are encouraged to regu-
late prejudice for autonomous (self-determined) reasons? Can
this reduce prejudice?
Autonomy-supportive contexts nurture inner motivational
resources by supporting an internal perceived locus of causal-
ity (deCharms, 1968). Thus, people feel autonomously moti-
vated when they identify their behavior as originating from a
personal, rather than environmental, source. Perceived auton-
omy is cultivated by conditions that provide informative ratio-
nales for engaging in a given behavior. In contrast, contexts
that thwart people’s need for autonomy are controlling (Deci
& Ryan, 2000). Controlling environments apply pressure to
extract an externally prescribed manner of thinking or behav-
ing. When autonomy is bypassed in this way, motivation
becomes contingent on external forces, and internal motiva-
tional resources are weakened. We expected that instead of
eliciting mere compliance (e.g., Blanchard, Lilly, & Vaughn,
1991), controlling directives against prejudice, such as the
common strategies outlined in our opening paragraph, would
in fact hinder inner motivational resources and produce results
opposite to those intended.
The Present Experiments
We predicted that strategies that foster self-determined
motivation to regulate prejudice would reduce prejudice, and
that controlling strategies would actually increase prejudice.
We tested these predictions in two experiments. The first
measured the impact of a content-rich contextual manipula-
tion on explicit prejudice; the second used more subtle prim-
ing methods and measured both explicit and implicit
prejudice. In both experiments, we tested the mediating role
of motivation in the link between intervention and prejudice
reduction.
Experiment 1: The Impact of Antiprejudice
Brochures on Racism
In Experiment 1, we sought to design instructional material
that might be useful beyond the laboratory and desirable for
practitioners looking to reduce prejudice in classrooms and
workplaces. To this end, we developed two prejudice-
reduction brochures based on the principles of autonomy sup-
port and control, as outlined by self-determination theory.
Method
Participants and procedure. One hundred three non-Black
undergraduates from the University of Toronto Scarborough
(71% female, 29% male; mean age = 18.8 years) participated
for course credit. Participants were randomly assigned to
one of three conditions: an autonomy-brochure condition, a
controlling-brochure condition, or a no-brochure condition.
The brochures were framed as part of a new campus initiative
to reduce prejudice. Depending on condition, participants read
either a brochure or other information about prejudice before
their motivation to reduce prejudice and their prejudice were
assessed.
Brochure manipulation. In the autonomy-brochure condi-
tion, the value of nonprejudice was emphasized. Participants’
inner motivation for prejudice reduction was encouraged by
emphasizing choice and explaining why prejudice reduction is
important and worthwhile. In the controlling-brochure condi-
tion, participants were urged to combat prejudice and to com-
ply with social norms of nonprejudice. In the no-brochure
condition, participants read only introductory information
about the definition of prejudice. (For excerpts from the bro-
chures, see the Supplemental Material available online.)
Dependent measures. To assess participants’ reasons for
regulating prejudice, we administered the 24-item Motivation
to Be Nonprejudiced Scale (Legault et al., 2007). This scale
includes items measuring self-determined motivation (e.g.,
“because striving to be nonprejudiced is important to me”; α =
.88) and items measuring controlled motivation (e.g., “because
racist people are not well liked”; α = .83). We used the Sym-
bolic Racism 2000 Scale (Henry & Sears, 2002) to measure
prejudice toward Black people (α = .74).
Results and discussion
Influencing motivation. An index of self-determined motiva-
tion was created by subtracting the mean score for controlled-
motivation items from the mean score for self-determined-
motivation items. A polynomial contrast revealed a significant
linear effect of condition (effect-coded, such that 1 = auton-
omy brochure, 0 = no brochure, and −1 = controlling brochure)
on self-determined motivation, with more self-determined
motivation being elicited in the autonomy-brochure condition
1474 Legault et al.
(M = 1.76, SD = 4.34) than in the no-brochure condition (M =
−2.57, SD = 6.17) and the controlling-brochure condition (M =
−2.54, SD = 5.04), F(1, 100) = 12.67, p < .001, ηp
2 = .14. Thus,
the brochures exerted an effect on motivation to regulate prej-
udice, although the effect was largely driven by the autonomy-
brochure condition.
Planned comparisons: influencing prejudice. As illustrated
in Figure 1, participants in the autonomy-brochure condition
displayed significantly less prejudice than did those in the no-
brochure condition, F(1, 66) = 14.49, p < .001, ηp
2 = .18. Con-
versely, those who read the controlling brochure actually
demonstrated greater prejudice than those in the no-brochure
condition, F(1, 66) = 4.34, p < .04, ηp
2 = .07. As hypothesized,
using control to motivate prejudice reduction backfired, and
was more detrimental than not motivating participants at all.
The support of autonomous motivation to regulate prejudice,
however, caused a reduction in prejudice.
Mediation by motivation to regulate prejudice. To test the
mediating effect (Baron & Kenny, 1986) of motivation on the
relationship between condition and prejudice, we constructed
an effect-coded condition variable (1 = autonomy brochure;
0 = no brochure; −1 = controlling brochure), which predicted
self-determined motivation to regulate prejudice, t(101) =
3.39, p < .001 (Fig. 2a). Furthermore, after controlling for con-
dition, self-determined motivation negatively predicted preju-
dice, t(101) = −3.34, p < .001. A Sobel (1982) test supported a
significant indirect effect of self-determined motivation on
prejudice, z = −2.79, p < .01. Thus, the two types of prejudice-
reduction brochures produced opposite effects on prejudice,
and this effect was partially explained by the source of motiva-
tion to regulate prejudice. It should be noted, however, that
although autonomy support boosted self-determined motiva-
tion to be nonprejudiced, the impact of control on prejudice
appeared to be more direct.
Experiment 1 used a rich and realistic manipulation and an
explicit measure. Although we observed an effect on prejudice
despite potential demand characteristics, we wanted to test the
generalizability of this effect in Experiment 2 by using subtler
methods.
Experiment 2: The Impact of Motivational
Priming on Racism
In Experiment 2, we manipulated motivation subtly, and then
measured automatic racism with the Implicit Association Test
(IAT; Greenwald, McGhee, & Schwartz, 1998). This strategy
afforded the potential advantage of broadening the results of
Experiment 1 to another index of prejudice; it also allowed us
to test whether the effects observed in Experiment 1 can occur
in situations in which motivation is shifted subtly, rather than
through the overt appeals made by a brochure.
Method
Participants and priming procedure. One hundred nine
non-Black undergraduates from the University of Toronto
Scarborough participated for partial course credit (69%
female, 31% male; mean age = 19.3 years). Participants were
randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions:
one designed to prime self-determined (autonomous) motiva-
tion to reduce prejudice, another designed to prime controlled
motivation to reduce prejudice, and a third in which there was
no priming.
Priming was achieved using a questionnaire format adapted
from Burton, Lydon, D’Alessandro, and Koestner (2006). So
that this questionnaire would appear to participants as a survey
3.6
3.8
4.0
4.2
4.4
4.6
4.8
Prejudice
Condition
Autonomy
Brochure
No
Brochure
Controlling
Brochure
Fig. 1. Prejudice as a function of brochure condition in Experiment 1. Error
bars represent ±1 SEM.
Experiment 1
Motivation
Brochure
Condition
Priming
Condition
Motivation
Explicit
Prejudice/IAT
Explicit
Prejudice
Experiment 2
0.38*** –0.33***
–0.48***
(–0.61***)
–0.46***
(–0.52***)
0.40***
(–0.46***)
0.33** –0.22* –0.20*
a
b
Fig. 2. Path diagrams showing self-determined motivation as a mediator of
the link between experimental condition and prejudice in (a) Experiment 1 and
(b) Experiment 2. The numbers along the paths are standardized coefficients, and
those in parentheses indicate the unmediated effect of condition on prejudice.
Asterisks indicate significant coefficients (*p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001). In
Experiment 2, both explicit prejudice and implicit prejudice (Implicit Association
Test, or IAT) were assessed; values in italics are results for the implicit measure.
Reducing Prejudice 1475
rather than an experimental induction, we included demo-
graphic and filler questions, which were followed by a two-part
manipulation. First, participants indicated their agreement with
eight statements (see Table 1), the endorsement of which was
facilitated by requiring participants to indicate either “Yes, I
agree at least somewhat” or “No, I disagree completely.” Next,
participants were asked to write three sentences regarding the
target motivation. In the autonomy-prime condition, they were
asked to describe why it is “personally satisfying,” “enjoyable,”
and “important” to be nonprejudiced. In the controlling-prime
condition, participants described their felt “internal demands,”
“obligation,” and “social expectation” to be nonprejudiced. In
the neutral, no-prime condition, participants responded to a
questionnaire that included only filler questions.
Dependent measures. Following the manipulation, the
Motivation to Be Nonprejudiced Scale (Legault et al., 2007)
was administered to assess participants’ reasons for refraining
from prejudice (α = .86 for self-determined motivation; α = .84
for controlled motivation). We measured explicit prejudice
using the Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale (Henry & Sears, 2002;
α = .71). Finally, we assessed implicit prejudice using the Race
IAT (Greenwald et al., 1998), a reaction time measure of racial
bias that captures the strength of association between the
Black and White race categories, on one hand, and positive
and negative attributes, on the other.
Results and discussion
Influencing motivation. Scores indexing self-determined
motivation were calculated in the same way as in Experiment 1.
Polynomial contrasts indicated a significant linear effect of
condition on self-determined motivation, which was highest in
the autonomy-prime condition (M = 5.00, SD = 3.27), lowest
in the controlling-prime condition (M = 2.53, SD = 3.21),
and intermediate in the neutral, no-prime condition (M = 3.33,
SD = 2.65), F(1, 106) = 12.77, p < .01, ηp
2 = .10. This result
suggests that the priming manipulation was successful in tar-
geting differences in the source of motivation to regulate
prejudice.
Planned comparisons: influencing prejudice. Participants
primed with self-determined motivation to regulate prejudice
displayed less symbolic racism (M = 3.71, SD = 0.51) than did
those in the neutral, no-prime condition (M = 4.04, SD = 0.56),
F(1, 70) = 6.67, p < .01, ηp
2 = .10. In contrast, those primed
with controlled motivation demonstrated greater symbolic
racism (M = 4.43, SD = 0.57) than did those in the no-prime
condition, F(1, 70) = 8.48, p < .01, ηp
2 = .11. These findings
complement those of Experiment 1 by again illustrating
the ironic effect of controlled motivation in augmenting preju-
dice. Conversely, activating autonomous motivation reduced
prejudice.
As illustrated in Figure 3, participants primed with self-
determined motivation to regulate prejudice exhibited signifi-
cantly less implicit prejudice than did those in the neutral,
no-prime condition, F(1, 70) = 5.86, p < .05, ηp
2 = .09. In fact,
participants in the autonomy-prime condition showed no pref-
erence for White over Black. Conversely, those primed with
controlled motivation displayed significantly more implicit
prejudice than did those in the neutral, no-prime condition, F(1,
70) = 4.18, p < .05, ηp
2 = .06. Thus, priming controlled motiva-
tion elicited greater preference for White over Black, compared
with not presenting a prejudice-reduction prime. These find-
ings illustrate that the ironic effect of control on motivation
extends to implicit evaluations of out-group members.
Mediation by self-determined motivation to regulate
prejudice. As illustrated in Figure 2b, an effect-coded condi-
tion variable (1 = autonomy prime; 0 = no prime; −1 =
Table 1. Motivational Primes Used in Experiment 2
Autonomy-prime condition:
I enjoy relating to people of different groups.
Being nonprejudiced is important to me.
I can freely decide to be a nonprejudiced person.
I value diversity.
It’s fun to meet people from other cultures.
It’s not important to understand others. (reverse-scored)
Equality and equal rights across cultural groups are important
values.
I think that issues of diversity are interesting.
Controlling-prime condition:
It is socially unacceptable to discriminate based on cultural
background.
People should be unprejudiced.
I would be ashamed of myself if I discriminated against someone
because they were Black.
There are no social norms about prejudice in society.
(reverse-scored)
I should avoid being a racist.
I would feel guilty if I were prejudiced.
Prejudiced people are not well liked.
People in my social circle disapprove of prejudice.
–0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
Implicit Race Bias
Condition
Autonomy
Prime
Neutral Controlling
Prime
Fig. 3. Implicit race bias as a function of condition in Experiment 2. Error
bars represent ±1 SEM.
1476 Legault et al.
controlling prime) predicted self-determined motivation to
regulate prejudice, t(106) = 3.56, p < .01. Controlling for
priming condition, self-determined motivation negatively pre-
dicted both explicit prejudice, t(106) = −2.78, p < .01, and
implicit prejudice, t(106) = −2.22, p < .05. Sobel tests indi-
cated that these indirect effects were significant—explicit
prejudice: z = −2.31, p < .05; implicit prejudice: z = −1.96, p <
.05. These results substantiate the role of motivation to regu-
late prejudice as a link between priming and prejudice
reduction.
Experiment 2 extended Experiment 1 by priming motiva-
tion using subtler, direct methods and by assessing prejudice at
the automatic level. The fact that priming had the hypothe-
sized effect on an implicit measure of prejudice is important
because although the motivation primes were subtly embed-
ded, they may still have been detectable.
General Discussion
This investigation exposed the adverse effects of pressuring
people to be nonprejudiced, while demonstrating the causal
role of self-determination in prejudice reduction. Notably, we
demonstrated that strategies urging people to comply with
antiprejudice standards are worse than doing nothing at all.
This direct effect was robust, even after controlling for moti-
vation (see Fig. 2). Thus, it appears that social control elicited
a reflexive, reactive effect that increased prejudice. Accord-
ing to reactance theory (Brehm & Brehm, 1981), this “rebel-
lion” represents a direct counterresponse (i.e., defiance) to
threatened autonomy. Interventions that eliminate people’s
freedom to choose egalitarian goals or to value diversity on
their own terms may incite hostility toward the perceived
source of the pressure (i.e., the stigmatized group), or a desire
to rebel against prejudice reduction itself. These findings
have serious implications for the enforcement of rules and
standards of nonprejudice, especially when one considers that
many intervention programs and policies use controlling,
antiprejudice techniques. This research reveals that these
types of messages not only do not work, but also can produce
the opposite of their intended effects. At the same time, we
offer evidence that supporting autonomy is crucial for preju-
dice reduction. When people see the value in nonprejudice,
they are more likely to internalize it and sustain it (Deci &
Ryan, 2000, 2008). Promotion of autonomous prejudice regu-
lation, then, is clearly more beneficial than social pressure for
political correctness.
Applications in programming and policy
By focusing on the motivational underpinnings of prejudice
regulation, this work offers clear guidelines for practitioners
looking to develop prejudice-reduction techniques. We advise
teachers and managers to steer away from the antiprejudice
strategy, to be aware of controlling tactics, to reduce the use of
pressuring language, and to refrain from pressuring people
toward strictly prescribed outcomes. Instead, it is important to
encourage personal valuing of diversity and equality. This can
be done by offering informative rationales, by discussing the
importance and enjoyment of nonprejudice, and by examining
the benefits of diverse and fair classrooms and workplaces.
Similarly, initiatives such as the Partners Against Hate project
and the Racism. Stop it! campaign, which promote the “elimi-
nation of intolerance” and “fight against racism,” might bene-
fit from reframing their approach. We suggest that antiprejudice
pressure backfires—deflating personal autonomy, tapping into
external and social concerns at the expense of personal ones,
and ultimately increasing prejudice.
Conclusion
This research joins other promising prejudice-reduction research
(e.g., Gaertner & Dovidio, 1984; Kawakami, Phills, Steele, &
Dovidio, 2007; Page-Gould, Mendoza-Denton, & Tropp, 2008;
Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006; Phills, Kawakami, Tabi, Nadolny, &
Inzlicht, 2011) in contributing to the development of strategies
for prejudice reduction. Although researchers have outlined the
benefits of autonomous motivation to be nonprejudiced for
more than a decade (Plant & Devine, 1998), notions of how to
systematically increase this motivation have been relatively
unexplored. We now offer an answer to this problem, using self-
determination theory, and we recommend the application of this
theory’s motivational principles at various societal levels.
Moreover, we have demonstrated the need to terminate ineffec-
tive prejudice-reduction practices. We suggest that many orga-
nizational strategies aimed at prejudice reduction are actually
counterproductive, and our results provide a possible explana-
tion for the finding that, despite the billions of dollars spent
annually on prejudice-reduction interventions (Hansen, 2003),
prejudice is rarely reduced.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The authors declared that they had no conflicts of interest with
respect to their authorship or the publication of this article.
Funding
This research was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship awarded to
the first author by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada.
Supplemental Material
Additional supporting information may be found at http://pss.sagepub
.com/content/by/supplemental-data
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... SDT has been applied in a similar way in previous research: Legault et al. (2011) experimentally tested different ways of communicating about bias reduction finding that communicating about bias reduction in ways that supported people's autonomy decreased bias. Conversely, communicating in ways that thwarted autonomy backfired and prompted increased levels of bias compared to a neutral condition. ...
... Using pressure and shame has shown shortterm effects in the form of minimal compliance because people feel they have to change (Katz & Assor, 2007). More commonly, pressure and shame fail to change attitudes (e.g., Thijs et al., 2016), or worse, they can counterproductively breed more prejudice (Legault et al., 2007(Legault et al., , 2011. Whereas feeling pressured or shamed by others tends to focus motivation outside the self (to alleviate external pressure or avoid shame; Tangney & Dearing, 2003), perceiving oneself as choiceful in one's actions helps to produce desired behavior change (Murray et al., 2018;Williams et al., 2006). ...
... Indeed, providing concrete strategies to employees to help them manage their biases is a key recommendation from reviews of workplace antibias interventions (e.g., Carter et al., 2020). 1.2.1 | Autonomy-supportive strategies to reduce prejudice lower defiance Several studies have found unintended and counterproductive consequences of prejudice-reduction efforts that actually increase prejudice (e.g., Hagiwara et al., 2020;Legault et al., 2011), and in the current research, we examine the possibility that one reason autonomy-supportive strategies may be effective in reducing prejudice is because it tends to dampen feelings of defiance. Defiance (also termed, reactance) is defined as a desire to do the opposite of what is being requested, when a motivating communication is held in contempt (Vansteenkiste et al., 2014). ...
Article
Workplace prejudice‐reduction efforts tend to be short lived at best, and can even arouse defiance, or a desire to oppose requests or rules, in employees. The motivational approach of self‐determination theory (SDT) describes how communicating about prejudice‐reduction can be scaffolded in ways that inspire genuine motivation and avoid eliciting defensive responses. From an SDT perspective, such autonomy‐supportive communications take the perspective of the employee, provide choice about how to best approach attitude change, provide a rationale or compelling reason for the importance of change, offer structure through explaining the consequences of bias, and avoid the use of shame to compel change. In two multi‐wave studies with British police officers and staff, we hypothesized that employees would report lower prejudice (operationalized as having less antagonistic attitudes toward police forces investing in diversity) when they perceived forces to communicate about prejudice in autonomy‐supportive ways (Studies 1 and 2). We also tested whether this association would be explained by lower defiance when perceiving autonomy‐supportive communications (Study 2). Results supported the main effect of perceived autonomy support in communication, relating to lower prejudice in multi‐wave (Study 1, n=1226) and longitudinal data (Study 2, n=232). We consider implications for communicating about prejudice‐reduction efforts in the workplace. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Furthermore, more recent evidence suggests that these contact approaches do not generalise to outside that context; one pre-registered study suggested that positive intergroup contact between Muslims and Christians in a soccer team did not improve relations outside of soccer, because the sense of threat was not alleviated in the intervention. [36] Second, most prejudice reduction strategies actually take the form of public messages dictating norms [37][38][39], as intergroup contact is expensive and largely difficult to set up in a natural way. Research has also suggested that those high on RWA are more sensitive to contextual and frame of reference effects [32]. ...
... This research suggests that the social identity approach, conjoined with a personality approach, to prejudice is probably the best theoretical approach to explain and reduce prejudice against Muslims and other "dangerous groups". This paper shows that prevailing approaches [2,38] to reduce prejudice through public messaging from an in-group member may work, but as per previous research [48], only those low in RWA will respond in the desired direction by showing lower prejudice as a reaction. This research also adds to the social identity literature on reducing prejudice; it demonstrates the importance how an individual's navigation of their social identities matters just as much as social contexts. ...
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Prejudice reduction messages have been shown to be effective through changing norms. Previous research suggests that Right Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) moderates the reaction to these messages, but it is unclear whether individuals high in RWA are more or less sensitive to prejudice-reduction campaigns. This research used the social identity approach to investigate the role of RWA in moderating the reactions to messages that look to reduce support for prejudicial policies and associated prejudice against an ethnoreligious group (Muslims). Americans (N = 388) were presented with statements on a real, proposed ban on Muslim immigration into the US from an in-group member (i.e., an American freight worker who disapproves of the Muslim ban), outgroup member (an Iraqi refugee who is in favour if the Muslim ban), or both, or control message. Those high in RWA showed consistently high levels of prejudice against Muslims in all conditions, but those low in RWA showed lower prejudice when presented with the anti-prejudice message from an in-group member (compared to control). This suggests that anti-prejudice messages primarily affect those with low RWA, clarifying that RWA likely leads to resistance to anti-prejudice messages regardless of the source. Future research aiming to reduce prejudice should examine how messages can be tailored to reduce prejudice in those with high RWA.
... Controlling communication styles use shame and blame to induce a change in behavior 17 . In general, autonomy-supportive messages have been shown to increase behavior change 18 , whereas controlling messages often lead to behaviors that are the opposite of what was intended 19,20 . Study 3 examined the effects of autonomy-supportive versus controlling messages about social distancing on the quality of motivation, feelings of defiance, and behavioral intentions to engage in social distancing. ...
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures for each experimental study, a general questionnaire examining health prevention behaviors and COVID-19 experience, geographical and cultural context characterization, and demographic information for each participant. Each participant started the study with the same general questions and then was randomized to complete either one longer experiment or two shorter experiments. Data were provided by 73,223 participants with varying completion rates. Participants completed the survey from 111 geopolitical regions in 44 unique languages/dialects. The anonymized dataset described here is provided in both raw and processed formats to facilitate re-use and further analyses. The dataset offers secondary analytic opportunities to explore coping, framing, and self-determination across a diverse, global sample obtained at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be merged with other time-sampled or geographic data.
... This research showed that implicit attitudes can be temporally reduced (Dasgupta and Greenwald, 2001;Marini et al., 2012;Lai et al., 2016) by a variety of factors, ranging from behavioral interventions (e.g., educational programs: Kawakami et al., 2000;Rudman et al., 2001) to the use of neuroscience techniques (e.g., noninvasive brain stimulation: for a review, see Marini et al., 2018). For example, it has been shown that implicit racial attitudes can be temporarily shifted by exposing people to counter-stereotypical exemplars (Marini et al., 2012;Lai et al., 2014), producing changes in their emotional states (DeSteno et al., 2004), or setting equalitarian goals (Legault et al., 2011;Mann and Kawakami, 2012). Similar changes have been observed also using noninvasive brain stimulation techniques (Marini et al., 2018), such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS). ...
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Introduction Recent studies showed that VR is a valid tool to change implicit attitudes toward outgroup members. Here, we extended this work by investigating conditions under which virtual reality (VR) is effective in changing implicit racial attitudes. Methods To this end, participants were embodied in a Black or White avatar and we manipulated the perspective through which they could see their virtual body. Participants in one condition, could see their virtual body both from a first-person perspective (i.e., by looking down toward themselves) and reflected in a mirror placed in front of them in the VR environment. Participants in another condition could instead see their virtual body only from a first-person perspective (i.e., by looking down toward themselves) as no mirror was placed in the VR environment. Implicit racial attitudes were assessed using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) before and immediately after the VR intervention. Results Results showed that when White participants were embodied in a Black avatar compared to a White avatar, they showed a decrease in their implicit pro-White attitudes but only when they could see their virtual body both from a first-person perspective and in a mirror. Discussion These results suggest that, in immersive virtual reality interventions, the possibility for participants to see their body also reflected in a mirror, might be a critical factor in changing their implicit racial attitudes.
... Along with recommendations for health disparities instruction in medical education, resources exist through the medical education portal of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), including the 2014's "Healthcare Disparities" (10) aimed at increasing residents' awareness of existing health disparities and their comfort level to improve their approach to patient care. As an interactive, web-based application course, this may be an ideal tool to educate residents about health inequities while allowing them to learn in a self-directed manner, as evidence shows that making equity-related trainings mandatory can have a negative impact on participants' attitudes, while autonomous motivation to participate is associated with improvement in attitudes (11). We piloted this course in an urban, tertiary health center internal medicine residency. ...
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Introduction Fewer than half of internal medicine program directors report any health disparities curriculum. We piloted a web-based healthcare disparities module among internal medicine (IM) residents to test effectiveness and feasibility, compared to a convenient sample of graduate students enrolled in a public health equity course. Methods IM residents participated in an in-person session (module 1: introduction to racial and ethnic health disparities), but first, they completed a pre-module knowledge quiz. Two weeks later, they completed module 2: “unconscious associations” and a post-module knowledge quiz. For the control arm Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) students enrolled in a course on health disparities completed the pre-module knowledge quiz, module 1, and 2 as required by their course instructor. Results Forty-nine IM residents and 22 YSPH students completed the pre-module quiz and Module 1. The mean (SD) score out of 25 possible points for the IM residents on the pre-module quiz was 16.1/25 (2.8), and 16.6/25 (3.2) for YSPH students, with no statistically significant difference. Nineteen residents (38.8%) completed the post-module quiz with a mean score of 16.7/25 (2.2), Hedge's g =0.23, compared to 18 (81.8%) YSPH students, whose mean (SD) score was 19.5/25 (2.1), Hedge's g=1.05. YSPH students' post-module quiz average was statistically significantly higher than their pre-module test score, as well as the residents' post-module test ( P < 0.001). In examining participants' responses to specific questions, we found that 51% ( n = 25) of residents wrongly defined discrimination with an emphasis on attitudes and intent as opposed to actions and impact, compared to 22.7% ( n = 5) YSPH students before the module, vs. 63.2% ( n = 12) and 88.9% ( n = 16) respectively after. Conclusion After completing a healthcare disparities course, graduate students in public health saw greater gains in knowledge compared to IM residents. Residents' responses showed knowledge gaps such as understanding discrimination, and highlight growth opportunity in terms of health equity education. Furthermore, embedding health equity education in required curricular activities may be a more effective approach.
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Disputes about the value of Diversity Training (DT) stem partly from disputes about what DT should entail and what its expected outcomes should be. We answer previous reviews’ calls for approaches to DT that are grounded in empirically supported theoretical frameworks. Specifically, and based on longstanding theory and research on attitude–behavior relations, we offer a dual‐process framework that identifies key factors for interventions to reduce individual‐level discrimination in organizational settings, including (a) automatic attitudes/bias, (b) awareness of the impact of bias, (c) motives relating to egalitarianism and conformity, and (d) the opportunity to engage in deliberative decision making. We offer suggestions, where available, for how DT might employ basic research known to impact these factors to construct more effective interventions. Finally, we offer guidance for targeted rather than “one‐size‐fits‐all” approaches to DT and advocate for an integration of DT tailored to individuals with structural interventions tailored to organizations.
Chapter
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Unlabelled: There is a recurrent call for effective implicit bias (IB) education within health professions education (HPE). We aimed to explore the state of IB education within HPE for clinical learners and IB educators using the Arksey and O'Malley scoping review framework. Thirty publications variable in curricular design met inclusion criteria. No studies assessed learner outcomes at the level of Miller's "shows" or "does" nor reported program evaluation outcomes at the level of Kirkpatrick's "behavior" or "results." Rigorous, theory-guided studies assessing behavioral change, patient care delivery, and patient outcomes are needed to move the field of IB education forward within HPE. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40670-022-01673-z.
Chapter
Eine Vielzahl an Forschungsarbeiten hat sich mit Einflüssen von Stereotypen und Vorurteilen auseinandergesetzt und auch im schulischen Kontext gezeigt, dass diese Voreingenommenheit Einfluss auf die Beurteilung von und den Umgang mit Schüler*innen nehmen können. Befunde über solche Beeinflussungen finden sich konsistent für verschiedenste Schüler*innenmerkmale, wie beispielsweise den Migrationshintergrund oder das Geschlecht von Schüler*innen. Dadurch können Disparitäten verstärkt werden. Weniger Forschung gibt es bisher jedoch dazu, welche Konsequenzen aus dem Wissen, dass Stereotype zu Bildungsbenachteiligungen beitragen, gezogen werden. Eine mögliche Konsequenz sind Interventionen für (angehende) Lehrkräfte, um sie für den Einfluss von Stereotypen und Vorurteilen in ihren Urteilen und ihren Handlungen zu sensibilisieren. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird eine Kurzintervention (AHA-Intervention) zur Anregung von Reflexionsprozessen und Bewusstmachung eigener Voreingenommenheit mit Blick auf ihre Wirksamkeit getestet.
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In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Empirical evidence is presented from 7 samples regarding the factor structure; reliability; and convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of separate measures of internal and external motivation to respond without prejudice. The scales reliably measure largely independent constructs and have good convergent and discriminant validity. Examination of the qualitatively distinct affective reactions to violations of own- and other-based standards as a function of the source of motivation to respond without prejudice provides evidence for the predictive validity of the scales. The final study demonstrated that reported stereotype endorsement varies as a function of motivation and whether reports are made in private or publicly. Results are discussed in terms of their support for the internal–external distinction and the significance of this distinction for identifying factors that may either promote or thwart prejudice reduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Three studies examined the moderating role of motivations to respond without prejudice (e.g., internal and external) in expressions of explicit and implicit race bias. In all studies, participants reported their explicit attitudes toward Blacks. Implicit measures consisted of a sequential priming task (Study 1) and the Implicit Association Test (Studies 2 and 3). Study 3 used a cognitive busyness manipulation to preclude effects of controlled processing on implicit responses. In each study, explicit race bias was moderated by internal motivation to respond without prejudice, whereas implicit race bias was moderated by the interaction of internal and external motivation to respond without prejudice. Specifically, high internal, low external participants exhibited lower levels of implicit race bias than did all other participants. Implications for the development of effective self-regulation of race bias are discussed.
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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We conducted two experiments designed to evaluate the effects of normative influence on reactions to racism. The current problem of racism on college campuses provided the context for these studies. We found that exposure to strongly antiracist normative influence induced the expression of more strongly antiracist opinions, regardless of the number of influencing agents and regardless of whether persons expressed their opinions publicly or privately, than occurred following exposure to normative influence reflecting strong acceptance of racism. Overhearing others voice opinions that reflect strong acceptance of racism led persons to express less strongly antiracist opinions than when no influence was exerted.