University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

"Treating" prejudice: an exposure-therapy approach to reducing negative reactions toward stigmatized groups.

Birtel, MD and Crisp, RJ (2012) "Treating" prejudice: an exposure-therapy approach to reducing negative reactions toward stigmatized groups. Psychol Sci, 23 (11). pp. 1379-1386.

Full text not available from this repository.


One of the ways in which therapists treat anxiety disorders is to expose patients to a fear-evoking stimulus within a safe environment before encouraging more positive stimulus-related thoughts. In the study reported here, we adapted these psychotherapeutic principles of exposure therapy to test the hypothesis that imagining a positive encounter with a member of a stigmatized group would be more likely to promote positive perceptions when it was preceded by an imagined negative encounter. The results of three experiments targeting a range of stigmatized groups (adults with schizophrenia, gay men, and British Muslims) supported this hypothesis. Compared with purely positive interventions, interventions in which a single negative encounter was imagined just prior to imagining a positive encounter resulted in significantly reduced prejudice. Furthermore, reduced anxiety uniquely derived from the mixed-valence imagery task statistically explained enhanced intentions to engage positively with the previously stigmatized group in the future.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Crisp, RJ
Date : 2012
DOI : 10.1177/0956797612443838
Uncontrolled Keywords : Adolescent, Adult, Anxiety, Female, Homophobia, Humans, Imagination, Implosive Therapy, Islam, Male, Prejudice, Schizophrenia, Stereotyping, Young Adult
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:18
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 18:57

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800