Changing negative attitudes toward Japanese and East Indian Canadians in elementary school children by using classical conditioning procedures

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Tested the hypothesis that positively evaluated words, when paired with emotionally ambiguous slide photographs of Japanese and East Indian Canadians, would bring about a positive change in attitudes toward these 2 groups. Lower mainland (British Columbia) attitudes toward Japanese Canadians are positive and attitudes toward East Indian Canadians are negative. It was anticipated, on the basis of an earlier study by T. S. Parish and F. Lambert (1973), that attitudes toward the Japanese Canadians would change more significantly than attitudes toward East Indian Canadians. Ss were 104 5th-, 6th-, and 7th- graders of varied ethnic backgrounds. Pretest means of attitudes toward Japanese Canadians and East Indian Canadians showed significantly more positive attitudes toward Japanese Canadians. The East Indian slides associated with positive words resulted in significant treatment effects. There were no other treatment effects. (2 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Alberta Journal of Educational Research
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Journal Article
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Subjects Subjects for this experiment came from an elementary school located in a middle class residential neighbourhood which is part of the greater metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia. One hundred and four female and male students, with varied ethnic backgrounds, who were enrolled in grades five, six, and seven comprised the sample.

Instrument The study utilized the same revised semantic-differential rating instrument used in the Parish and Lambert study. [...]

Design and Procedure The experiment followed a simple pretest, posttest, control group design. The students were randomly assigned to three groups: treatment one, treatment two, and a control group. [...] The pretest was then administered. Treatment Group One [...] received the first treatment. It consisted of twenty emotionally ambiguous slide photographs of East Indian Canadians. Each was projected onto a screen for two seconds and was followed immediately by a positively evaluated word [...]. Twenty emotionally ambiguous slide photographs of Japanese were then shown for two seconds, each followed by a neutrally evaluated word and a blank slide, each for five seconds. In all cases the students read the words aloud. This group was then sent to another room where they were given the same instrument as a posttest. The control group [...] discussed pictures of British. Columbia's geography. They were then dismissed to the other room where they also wrote the posttest. The second treatment group [...] shown the same twenty slides of Japanese, but with positive words. They were also shown the same Indian Canadian slides, but with neutral words. All words were recited by the students. After the treatment they were sent to a separate room to write the posttest. [...]

Type of Prejudice/Bias