Moral Elevation Reduces Prejudice Against Gay Men

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Description: Disgust is linked to social evaluation. People with higher disgust sensitivity exhibit more sexual prejudice, and inducing disgust increases sexual prejudice. We tested whether inducing moral elevation, the theoretical opposite of disgust, would reduce sexual prejudice. In four studies (N = 3622), we induced elevation with inspiring videos and then measured sexual prejudice with implicit and explicit measures. Compared to control videos that elicited no particular affective state, we found that elevation reduced implicit and explicit sexual prejudice, albeit very slightly. No effect was observed when the target of social evaluation was changed to race (Black-White). Inducing amusement, another positive emotion, did not significantly affect sexual prejudice. We conclude that elevation weakly but reliably reduces prejudice towards gay men.

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Abstract from manuscript (published at Cognition & Emotion): Disgust is linked to social evaluation. People with higher disgust sensitivity exhibit more sexual prejudice (Inbar, Pizarro, Knobe, & Bloom, 2009), and inducing disgust increases sexual prejudice (Dasgupta, DeSteno, Williams, & Hunsinger, 2009). We tested whether inducing moral elevation, the theoretical opposite of disgust, would reduc...

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