Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
First Committee Member
Paul D. Windschitl
Second Committee Member
When do targets of stigma seek to manage the prejudice they face? Recent work shows that stigmatized targets anticipate that others view their group as posing specific threats, and as a result, prioritize threat-mitigating strategies when motivated to convey a positive impression (e.g., Black men prioritize smiling to reduce physical safety threat; Neel, Neufeld, & Neuberg, 2013). I predicted that stigmatized targets use these strategies selectively: First, with people vulnerable to the threat the target is stereotyped to pose, and second, in environments that make the target’s threat salient. Black and White male participants read about a hypothetical interaction with a stranger and then ranked self-presentational strategies in order of importance for making a good impression. Study 1 showed that environmental threat and partner vulnerability did not influence rank of smiling; however, after being made aware of stereotypes people hold of African Americans in general (Study 2), Black men trended toward prioritizing smiling more in a threatening (compared to a non-threatening) environment or with a vulnerable (compared to a non-vulnerable) partner. Although further work is needed to replicate this effect before drawing concrete conclusions, this finding speaks to targets strategically employing threat-reducing behaviors with specific perceivers and in certain environments.
vi, 73 pages
Includes bibliographical references.
Copyright © 2018 Bethany Lassetter
Lassetter, Bethany. "Stigma management through a threat-specific lens: when do targets anticipate and seek to manage the prejudice they face?." MA (Master of Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2018.