Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Bernice Lott


Sixty-five African American women and 63 African American men completed research questionnaires examining beliefs about women of different ethnicities and income levels. Data were analyzed to determine if beliefs varied as a function of: participant gender, level of acculturation, and stage of racial identity; and on the basis of the target woman's ethnicity and income level. Data revealed that participants attributed more favorable descriptors to higher income targets regardless of ethnicity. Also, this study found that participants rarely used descriptors contained on inventories such as the Bern Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). Overall, the results suggest that prior research examining beliefs about ethnic groups is too simplistic because it fails to capture the multidimensionality of stereotypes. Similarly, much of the research literature may have little validity because researchers often fail to use empirically derived inventories, or when researching ethnic minorities, inventories developed and normed for members of these groups.



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