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ATHEISTS, DEVILS, AND COMMUNISTS: COGNITIVE MAPPING OF ATTITUDES AND STEREOTYPES OF ATHEISTS

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
Negative attitudes towards atheists are hardly a new trend in our society. However, given the pervasiveness of the prejudices and the lack of foundation for them, it seems warranted to explore the underlying elements of these attitudes. Identifying these constitutive elements may help pick apart the different contributing factors and perhaps mitigate or at least understand them in the future. The present study was designed to identify which myths or stereotypes about atheists are most influential in these attitudes. A Lexical Decision Task was utilized to identify which words related to popular stereotypes are most related to the label atheists. The labels Atheists, Christians, and Students were compared to positive words, negatives words, words or interests, neutral words, and non-word strings. Analyses revealed no significant differences among the participants' reaction times in these various comparisons, regardless of religion, level of belief in god, level of spirituality, or being acquainted with atheists. Possible explanations for these results are discussed in this thesis.
Title: ATHEISTS, DEVILS, AND COMMUNISTS: COGNITIVE MAPPING OF ATTITUDES AND STEREOTYPES OF ATHEISTS.
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Name(s): Najle, Maxine, Author
Sims, Valerie, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Negative attitudes towards atheists are hardly a new trend in our society. However, given the pervasiveness of the prejudices and the lack of foundation for them, it seems warranted to explore the underlying elements of these attitudes. Identifying these constitutive elements may help pick apart the different contributing factors and perhaps mitigate or at least understand them in the future. The present study was designed to identify which myths or stereotypes about atheists are most influential in these attitudes. A Lexical Decision Task was utilized to identify which words related to popular stereotypes are most related to the label atheists. The labels Atheists, Christians, and Students were compared to positive words, negatives words, words or interests, neutral words, and non-word strings. Analyses revealed no significant differences among the participants' reaction times in these various comparisons, regardless of religion, level of belief in god, level of spirituality, or being acquainted with atheists. Possible explanations for these results are discussed in this thesis.
Identifier: CFH0004318 (IID), ucf:45041 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-12-01
B.S.
Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
Bachelors
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): atheism
atheists
prejudice
stereotypes
social cognition
religion
christians
christianity
stigma
lexical decision task
ldt
word recognition
belief
attitudes
implicit associations
negative
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH0004318
Restrictions on Access: campus 2015-11-01
Host Institution: UCF

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