Gretchen B. Sechrist's research while affiliated with Mansfield University and other places

Publications (21)

Article
Much research demonstrates that exposure to thin media ideals has a negative effect on women’s body image. The present research suggests a notable and important exception to this rule. The authors propose the parasocial relationship-moderation hypothesis—that parasocial, or one-sided, relationships (PSRs) moderate the effects of thin media figures...
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Two studies examined the role of ingroup identification in the influence of social consensus information (information about others' beliefs) on intergroup attitudes. Research demonstrates that consensus information influences individuals' intergroup attitudes. However, the extent to which individuals identify with the group providing consensus info...
Article
Two studies examined the extent to which individuals' racial attitudes are influenced more by interdependent others' attitudes than people with whom they do not mutually depend. Study 1 demonstrated that participants significantly changed their racial attitudes when they received disagreement feedback from an ingroup friend, whereas there was no ch...
Article
Three studies demonstrated that optimism increased women's plans to confront gender discrimination. Furthermore, these studies showed that this relation was not a result of attributions to discrimination or perceptions of discriminatory events. Rather, as demonstrated in Study 3, the reason optimists were more likely to indicate that they would con...
Chapter
Discrimination is negative behavior directed at individuals or at groups of individuals because of their social group membership. Discrimination is based on social categories to which individuals do not generally choose to belong. Such social categories include gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, stigma, age, and physical appear...
Article
Two experiments examined the effects of discrimination source on men’s and women’s willingness to make attributions to a sexist experimenter or sexist rules. Students (161 male; 171 females) at a US university were exposed to a discriminatory person, discriminatory rule, or no discrimination. “Experiment 1” demonstrated individuals were less likely...
Article
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The present research examines the psychological consequences of not making attributions to discrimination in response to negative feedback. In two studies, 100 and 80, respectively, female undergraduates at large US research universities were exposed to conditions that simulated three distinct reasons for not making an attribution to discrimination...
Article
Previous research demonstrates that social consensus information (information about other people's beliefs) has a powerful influence on intergroup attitudes. The present study examined the influence of consensus information on helping behavior. White participants were provided with favorable or no consensus information about African Americans, and...
Article
Two studies examined the extent to which individuals' attitudes toward familiar and unfamiliar social groups are differentially related to perceptions of the attitudes held by other people about those groups. In Study 1, participants indicated their own attitudes, as well as their perceptions of the attitudes of relevant ingroup members, toward nin...
Article
The Y2K Bug, the programming glitch expected to derail computerized systems worldwide when the year changed from 1999 to 2000, provided a rich context for examining anticipatory coping and preparatory behaviors. In the last 2 months of 1999, 697 respondents completed an online survey of proactivity, worry about Y2K, dispositional optimism, primary...
Article
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Two experiments examined how the goals of self-presentation and maintenance of control over one's outcomes influence women's tendencies to make or to avoid making attributions to discrimination. Demonstrating the importance of self-presentational goals, Experiment 1 showed that targets of discrimination were just as likely as similar others to make...
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This research investigated the contextual nature of decisions about racial exclusion by analyzing why individuals might be willing to accept members of other racial groups into some types of social relationships but nevertheless exclude them from other types of relationships. Our analysis examined the underlying reasoning processes used to make suc...
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This research was designed to examine whether perspective taking promotes improved intergroup attitudes regardless of the extent that stereotypic perceptions of outgroups are endorsed, as well as examining the mechanisms (attributional or empathy related) by which perspective taking motivates improved intergroup attitudes. Participants were present...
Article
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Four experiments examined how an actor's intent and the harm experienced by a target influence judgments of prejudice and discrimination. The presence of intent increased the likelihood that participants judged an actor as prejudiced and the actor's behavior as discriminatory. When intent was uncertain, harm influenced judgments of the behavior, wh...
Article
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Previous research demonstrates that people use their mood as information when making a variety of judgments. The present research examines the extent to which people use their current mood as information when making attributions to discrimination. Women were given a positive or negative mood induction and either provided with an external attributio...
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Discrimination towards members of low-status groups takes a variety of forms, and results in a variety of negative consequences for its victims. Furthermore, discrimination may influence its targets either directly (for instance, when housing discrimination makes insurance, mortgage rates, or rents higher for African Americans than for whites) or i...
Article
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The authors tested the hypothesis that members of stigmatized groups would be unwilling to report that negative events that occur to them are the result of discrimination when they are in the presence of members of a nonstigmatized group. Supporting this hypothesis, women and African Americans were more likely to report that a failing grade assigne...
Article
In two experiments, the authors found that providing feedback to European American participants that others held different beliefs about African Americans than they originally estimated significantly changed the beliefs that they held about that group. The observed changes were stronger for people who were exposed to information about the opinions...
Article
Past research has demonstrated the powerful influence other people have on the thoughts and behaviors of individuals. However, the study of intergroup attitudes has focused primarily on the influence of direct exposure to out-group members as determinants of stereotypes and prejudice. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that learning that others...
Article
This chapter reviews current models of how young adults make academic choices, and corresponding models of academic performance, with a particular concern for explaining differences across social groups. The review will show that in large part these models propose, and empirical data confirm, that such outcomes are determined by social expectations...

Citations

... The researchers found that the paired parody images led to lower levels of body dissatisfaction. Young et al. (2012) asked women to either write about their favorite female celebrity or an assigned female celebrity (the very thin Keira Knightley). The researchers found that women were more satisfied with their bodies after writing about their favorite celebrity than the assigned celebrity. ...
... A substantive body of research involving adults, children and adolescents has confirmed that in-group norms, as perceived by the group members, predict a wide range of intergroup outcomes, such as in-group favouritism [5], outgroup attitudes [6][7][8], quantity and quality of intergroup contact [9], as well as positive and negative intergroup PLOS ONE | https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227512 January 10, 2020 1 / 27 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 a1111111111 behaviours [10,11]. However, in previous research, norms related to intergroup behaviours have been conceptualised in different ways, including norms about the expression or suppression of prejudices (e.g. ...
... In line with these perspectives, previous empirical research demonstrates how adolescents follow perceived norms and try to match their behavior and attitudes with norms accepted by their reference group (Jasinskaja-Lahti et al., 2011;Knoll et al., 2015). Perceived group norms can, in this sense, shift youths' stereotypic attitudes and behavior Stangor et al., 2001;Wittenbrink & Henly, 1996), as they internalize prejudice (or the opposite) to connect with their social group, including with their classmates (Miklikowska et al., 2021;Váradi et al., 2021). Taken together, the literature on social influence points to various ways that classmates may influence each other's attitudes: by providing information about what is correct and true, about what it takes to be liked by others, and about what it implies to be a group member. ...
... I chose and she chose, and everybody's happy. (Khalid, 40 years) Yet, on another level, individuals sometimes feel that they also have to consider the reactions and social sanctions of the wider social community (see also Killen et al., 2004 on the fear of social sanctioning concerning white-black partner relations in the USA). In some cases the disapproval of the outside world is deemed more decisive than the parents' or personal stances. ...
... The stressors related with social identity are a unique type, quite different from non-bias-related stressors, and with severe consequences for health (Bey et al., 2019). When bias and prejudice are conceptualized and broadly categorized as racism or homophobia, for example, this may hide important differences between group members since some of them may experience more prejudice and discrimination than others (Stangor et al., 2003). To explain this variability, research has focused on individual, situational, and structural factors. ...
... According to Sechrist and Stangor (2007), consumers in homophilous APJML social networks are more confident when making evaluations and focus less on CON information, whereas consumers in diverse social groups tend to depend more on CON information. Sechrist and Milford-Szafran (2011) also confirmed that CON messages from "in-group" friends produced a stronger effect than CON messages from in-group strangers. Therefore, the relations with group members reflecting homophily are expected to have a greater influence on attitude toward a company within the contexts of NeWOM and firm crisis recovery than relationships with group members based on CON. ...
... The present studies bring together research on the interaction between social norms and contact with prosocial behaviors (e.g., Gómez et al., 2018;Sechrist & Stangor, 2007;Visintin et al., 2019). Our findings are consistent with research showing that positive contact (i.e., help offered by an outgroup member) might not increase future intergroup contact intentions in an intolerant normative context and, therefore, that a normative support is needed in order to facilitate the benefits of positive intergroup contact (Allport, 1954;Kende et al., 2017;Maunder et al., 2019;Merino, 2013). ...
... Moreover, the current study investigated whether information about sexism could reinforce the expectation to be treated unequally (see Stroebe et al., 2010a) and discourage women to strive for equal positions. Among members of stigmatized groups, career expectations and motivations have previously been shown to be reduced by discrimination, or perceptions that others have negative stereotypes about them (Stangor & Sechrist, 1998;Van Laar et al., 2010. By activating the perception that women are discriminated against in society, information about sexism may similarly reduce gender-related career expectations and motivations. ...
... We model social conformity by allowing the extent to which one learns from experience to vary with the deviation of her belief from those of other ingroup members. Given that members with views different than the norm tend to be more likely to adjust their beliefs in response to new information-an effect demonstrated in the context of U.S. racial attitudes and norms [31,32]-for every individual at any point in time t, learning speed α i,t is set proportional to the deviance of one's belief from the group average. The less representative a given member's beliefs are of those in her group (i.e., the greater the distance between her prior and the group norm), the more likely she is to change her views in response to personal experiences with outgroup members. ...
... The second strategy focused on having the speaker see the situation from another point of view (e.g., "imagine what it would feel like to receive that comment?" or "have you considered how someone else would interpret that comment?"). Asking the speaker to imagine what it might be like to be in the position of the target of their comment may elicit empathy and increase the speaker's awareness of the microaggression they committed (Albiero & Matricardi, 2013;Nagda & Zúñiga, 2003;Vescio et al., 2003). ...