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Date of Award
Thesis and Dissertation-ISU Access Only
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Psychology: School Psychology
John B. Pryor
Many children and adults with stigmatizing conditions face discrimination, avoidance, and stereotyping from their peers. Stigmas are often regarded as having magical contaminating qualities. The study also examined how social norms regarding the expression of prejudice influence the avoidance of stigmatized persons. This study used a mixed method design to examine the influence that priming magical thinking has upon the expression of behavioral avoidance towards individuals with stigmatizing conditions. This study used 130 adult and 173 child participants. In each study, the participants were randomly assigned into the magical priming versus control condition. Participants completed a task on the MouseTracker software (Freeman & Ambady, 2009) involving a simulated classroom or waiting room task, which had participants choose a seat to sit in based on a photo of a person with a stigmatizing condition.
The current study sought to answer the following research questions:
1. How children primed to think magically respond to peers with stigmatizing conditions
2. Determine the role of age in the reaction to stigmatized peers
3. How magical priming affect the child's approach/avoidance response
4. Determine how social norms affect the approach/avoidance response in children
LeFever, Christine, "The Relationship of Magical Thinking to Stigmatizing Reactions in Children and Adults" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 579.