Project Title

Political Affiliation and Attitudes

Project Abstract

Previous research looking at stereotype threat has shown that individuals who are reminded of a stereotype pertaining to their social group are more likely to conform to the stereotype (Steele, 1995). Currently, there is little-to-no research on stereotype threat with the use of fake stereotypes. That is, will a person adjust their attitudes in line with a fake stereotype? The underlying, and main purpose is to test whether participants would conform to a fake stereotype as research has shown they would with a known stereotype.

The idea of “stigma consciousness” arose when researchers wanted to see if individuals thought they would be stereotyped by others when discussing stereotype threat (Pinel, 1999). In other words, reading or hearing about a stereotype about one's in-group could influence individuals to worry that they personally were being included in the stereotype. This study is going to look at whether fake stereotypes are just as “threatening” as real stereotypes. Specifically, the study will have two main groups (Republican or Democratic), and the individuals in these groups will receive one of three fake stereotypes regarding their party (positive, negative, or a control).

The participants will then complete a survey packet with multiple scales, one of which is the Community Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill (CAMI) scale (Taylor & Dear, 1981). The CAMI scale is the main Dependent Variable, and measures stigma toward the mentally ill. The hypothesis is two-fold: 1) individuals who receive a negative stereotype are going to have more negative stigma toward the mentally ill, and 2) individuals who receive a positive stereotype are going to have less stigma toward the mentally ill. As previously mentioned, while there is a lot of research on stereotype threat with common, or real, stereotypes, there is currently no research on the use of fake stereotypes. This could be a new branch of research under stereotype threat if the findings are significant. Unfortunately, due to the lack of research on the use of fake stereotypes, this is a brief summary that merely points out the main literature from researchers who discovered these concepts, and highlights main points as to how my research study has been set up.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts


Psychology/Sociology Double Major


Bachelor of Science

Graduation Expected





Dr. Jana Hackathorn

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Beginning date of project


End date of project


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