Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

C. Raymond Millimet

Second Advisor

Wayne Harrison


Two assumptions derived from Devine and Monteith’s (1993) self-regulatory model of prejudice reduction were tested utilizing a stereotype-activating stimulus believed to be similar to one which is more likely to occur in everyday-life than those used in previous research. Black and white actors making ambiguously hostile statements were evaluated by 92 low and high-prejudiced participants. Rating-scale data provided partial support for the assumption that low-prejudiced participants inhibit stereotype-consistent responses and replace them with personal, more egalitarian beliefs. Specifically, low-prejudiced participants provided significantly more favorable ratings than their high-prejudiced counterparts (p = .030). Reaction-time data provided support for the model’s assumption that low-prejudiced persons use controlled cognitive processes in inhibiting stereotypeconsistent responses by showing that low-prejudiced participants reacted more slowly to hostile traits than their high-prejudiced counterparts. Furthermore, rating-scale and reaction-time data showed that both black and white actors were perceived to be equally hostile, and that low-prejudiced participants used different personal standards and cognitive processes than those exhibited by high-prejudiced participants.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.