Date of Award
Master of Arts in Psychological Science
First Reader/Committee Chair
I assessed the influence prototypicality has on judgements individuals make about gay men. It has been demonstrated that individuals make inferences regarding a person’s traits and group membership based upon a person’s perceived prototypicality (Ambady, Hallahan, & Conner, 1999; Stephan & Stephan, 1989; Wilkins, Kaiser, and Rieck, 2010). I hypothesized that highly prototypical gay men would be perceived to be more identified with the gay community, possess more negative stereotypes of gay men, engage in more activities associated with the gay community, receive less positive feelings from others, and experience more discrimination. Additionally, perceived group identification and negative stereotyping were expected to mediate serially the relationship between prototypicality, perceived engagement in gay activities, positive attitudes from others, and discrimination from others. Participants (N=360) viewed an image of a gay man either low or high in prototypicality. Participants evaluated the gay man’s perceived group identification, perceived stereotypical traits, engagement in activities associated with the gay community, as well as their own feelings and behavioral intentions toward the gay men. Highly prototypical gay men were perceived to (1) identify more with the gay community, (2) possess more negative stereotypes associated with gay men, and (3) engage in more immoral activities associated with the gay community, than low prototypical gay men. Moreover, perceived group identification and negative stereotyping serially mediated the relationship between prototypicality, and perceived engagement in gay activities, attitudes towards the target, and discrimination from others.
Beam, Adam, "How Prototypicality Influences Inferences and Discrimination Towards Gay Men" (2019). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 928.