Affect and Cognition as Antecedents of Intergroup Attitudes: The Role of Applicability and Judged Usability
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When making intergroup evaluations we experience cognitive and affective responses. Given that the content of the cognitions or affective reactions are applicable and judged usable, each has the potential to influence one's attitudes towards that group. In a Pilot Study participants reported significantly more disgust than fear when thinking about gay men, and significantly more fear than disgust when thinking about African-Americans. Studies 1 and 2 provided initial support that these specific emotional responses to social groups are moderated by the extent to which that information is judged as usable. Data from Study 3 did not fully support my hypotheses, as personal relevance did not moderate the extent to which affect was related to social distance. Implications and limitations are discussed.