Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychological Science



First Reader/Committee Chair

Goetz, Cari


Atheists are some of the least liked people in the world. Previous research has demonstrated that in most stigmatized groups, increased prevalence of the group increases prejudice towards the group. However, the opposite has been found with atheists- increased perceived prevalence decreases prejudice towards atheists. One post-hoc explanation provided for this difference is that since atheists are easily concealable and unorganized as a group, their greater prevalence may not be perceived as a threat. In the present thesis, I 1) attempted to replicate the existing finding that perceived increased prevalence would increase trust towards atheists and 2) directly tested the hypothesis that if atheist groups are presented as collectively powerful and coherent, increased prevalence will no longer decrease anti-atheist prejudice. I did not find support for the hypothesis that prevalence increases atheist trust, nor did I find support for my hypotheses that power and cohesion would manipulate distrust. Atheist prejudice is still pervasive, however, prejudice against atheists may be changing.

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Psychology Commons