Poster Title

Does a College-level Race / Gender Course Reduce Prejudicial Feelings Toward African Americans?

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

The present research employed the Modern Racism Scale (McConahay, 1986) to assess whether taking a course on race and gender issues reduces feelings of prejudice toward African Americans. Multiple regression analysis confirmed that four variables independently correlated with an end-of-semester assessment of prejudice: 1) Whether or not students had completed a race/gender course; 2) the student’s disposition to think rigorously about complex problems (measured with the Need for Cognition Scale (Cacioppo, Petty & Kao, 1984)); 3) the student’s disposition to avoid social disapproval (measured with the MarloweCrowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960)); and 4) the student’s willingness to take a race/gender course even if it were not a university requirement. The conclusion from the research is that a race/gender course does indeed produce a small but statistically significant reduction in racial prejudice independent of the effects of dispositional variables.

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Does a College-level Race / Gender Course Reduce Prejudicial Feelings Toward African Americans?

The present research employed the Modern Racism Scale (McConahay, 1986) to assess whether taking a course on race and gender issues reduces feelings of prejudice toward African Americans. Multiple regression analysis confirmed that four variables independently correlated with an end-of-semester assessment of prejudice: 1) Whether or not students had completed a race/gender course; 2) the student’s disposition to think rigorously about complex problems (measured with the Need for Cognition Scale (Cacioppo, Petty & Kao, 1984)); 3) the student’s disposition to avoid social disapproval (measured with the MarloweCrowne Social Desirability Scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960)); and 4) the student’s willingness to take a race/gender course even if it were not a university requirement. The conclusion from the research is that a race/gender course does indeed produce a small but statistically significant reduction in racial prejudice independent of the effects of dispositional variables.