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J Homosex. 2006;51(2):79-99.

Positive associations among interpersonal contact, motivation, and implicit and explicit attitudes toward gay men.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Western Washington University, 516 High St, MS 9089, Bellingham, 98225, USA.


A correlational study explored the role of intergroup contact and motivation to respond without prejudice on heterosexuals' expression of explicit and implicit (unconscious) bias against gay men. Participants who reported having more relationships and closer relationships with gay, lesbian, or bisexual people tended to exhibit more favorable attitudes toward gay men on implicit as well as explicit attitude measures. Attitudes were also related to self-reported motivation to be non-prejudiced, including motivation stemming from sources internal as well as external to the individual. Multiple regression analyses showed that contact and motivation explain unique variance in attitude but that motivation is a relatively stronger predictor. The results are interpreted to suggest that implicit and explicit prejudice may be reduced through motivation coupled with positive contact experiences.

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