Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This study aimed to examine if a perceived pathogen contamination threat would influence participants level of open-minded cognition. This study obtained an online sample of 300 adults (i.e., 18-years or older) U.S. Amazon Mechanical Turk workers to participate in an online study. This study used a quantitative experimental design to examine if a manipulation of perceived pathogen contamination threat would influence participants level of situation-specific open-minded cognition (SSOMC). Participants were randomly assigned to either a perceived pathogen contamination condition in which they watched a short informative video on pathogens or a control condition in which participants watched a short innoxious video on architecture. Participants were asked to read a hypothetical situation about a U.S. government task force assembled to facilitate refugees into the United States and asked to indicate their level of open-mindedness in this situation on the SSOMC scale. Participants also provided their attitudes toward immigration using the reject subscale from the European Social Survey (ESS). Results indicated that there was no significant mean difference in SSOMC between the perceived pathogen threat condition and the control condition. Additionally, an exploratory analysis, found no influence of pathogen contamination on participants attitudes toward immigration. Mean differences on SSOMC remained insignificantly different between conditions even when controlling for participants attitudes toward immigration. Potential explanations for this null pattern of effects are discussed.
Escudero, Gabriel, "Ecology and Open-Minded Cognition: Does Exposure to Pathogens Influence Open-Minded Cognition?" (2021). Master's Theses. 4387.
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