OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

The Effects of Prototypicality on the Perceptions of Gay Men


Adam Beam


The current study assesses how prototypicality influences judgments individuals make about Gay men. It has been demonstrated that individuals make inferences about one’s racial group membership based on facial prototypicality (Maddox & Gray, 2002; Wilkins, Kaiser & Reick, 2010). We aim to expand on previous research and examine if individuals make inferences about a Gay man’s identification with the LGBT community, stereotypical traits he possesses, and the extent he is expected to be involved in activities associated with the LGBT community. Participants will be randomly assigned to view a photo of a gay man that has been previously rated for prototypicality (Low vs. High) and form an impression of him. Participants will be then asked to rate the individuals on their perceived group identification, stereotyped traits they possess, and activity in gay-typed activities. We expect that individuals High in prototypicality will be perceived to identify more with the LGBT community, possess more stereotypical traits, and engage in more activities for the LGBT community.

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