Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

John Paul Wilson

Committee Member

Michael Bixter

Committee Member

Laura Lakusta


Race and gender biases are embedded in society in various forms, and decades of research in social psychology have examined these biases. As demonstrated in previous psychological research, Black people, compared with White people, are subject to automatic negative stereotypes and prejudice (Devine, 1989). Much research has investigated the effect that racial biases have on the lives of individuals. Although prior research on racial bias has often focused on bias across gender lines, there is also a prominent strain of research that argues that intergroup bias is gendered. For example, the outgroup male target hypothesis (Navarrete et al., 2010) predicts that men will be targeted more than women in conflictual intergroup situations, largely because men tend to be more physically aggressive and dominant. This idea is particularly relevant for research that investigates racial bias in perceptions of threat, conflict, and criminality (e.g., Correll et al., 2002, Wilson et al., 2017). However, to focus solely on men in such work would be overly narrow. The present work extends one such line of research to include female targets in a more systematic fashion than has previously been done. Specifically, it will investigate the extent to which racial bias in perceptions of physical size extends to women. The present study’s findings yielded mixed results regarding whether race-based size biases are extended to women in similar ways that they are for men. However, the results indicated interactions between target race, participant gender and participate race that should be considered and investigated in further research.

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Psychology Commons