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The current work examined how the source of people's motivation to respond without prejudice influences the strategies they use during an actual interracial interaction and what impact these strategies have on the quality of the interracial interaction. In interracial interactions, people motivated to respond without prejudice for internal, personal reasons (i.e., high IMS) should be focused on having a good interaction and therefore, should be more likely to exhibit approach-related behaviors (i.e., smiling) compared to low IMS people. In contrast, people highly motivated to respond without prejudice for external, social reasons (i.e., high EMS) should be focused on avoiding a bad interaction and therefore, should be more likely to exhibit avoidance-related behaviors (i.e., avoid eye contact) during an interracial interaction than low EMS participants. In the current study, participants had an interracial interaction with another person (a confederate). As anticipated, internally motivated people engaged in approach-related behaviors across various measures of approach and had more positive interactions than those less internally motivated. In contrast, externally motivated people engaged in avoidance-related behaviors across various measures of avoidance and had less positive interactions than those less externally motivated. These findings suggest that the source of people's motivation to respond without prejudice can influence people's behavior during interracial interactions. The implications of these findings for intergroup relations are discussed.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Psychology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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