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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Alyssa

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Jaime Kurtz

Abstract

With constant media coverage of hostility in the Middle East, and given recent acts of domestic terrorism such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, it is reasonable to assume that prejudice against the Arab-Muslim population has been increasing in the United States (Moore, 2002). There are many active campaigns advocating for both acceptance and the reduction of various types of prejudice and discrimination in our society. However, the question is if these campaigns are actually successful in their goals. The current study sought to fill this gap by assessing a social intervention on its effectiveness in reducing prejudice towards the Arab-Muslim population. Using the induction of cognitive dissonance, 40 students at a mid-Atlantic university participated in a social intervention to possibly reduce implicit prejudice towards Arab-Muslims. Dissonance was induced by having a sample of participants with higher ratings on the anti-Arab-Muslim Prejudice scale publicly advocate for a pro-Islam community event. Reduction in implicit prejudice was measured by the difference in scores between the pre- and post- IAT test a week later. Due to a small sample size, no statistical significance could be found (184 words).

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