Theses Doctoral

Psychological Outcomes of Prototypicality in Marginalized Group Members

Mohr, Rebecca

Social psychologists have long been interested in judgments of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination towards people with marginalized identities. However, the majority of past social psychological studies have focused on understanding how perceivers view one dimension of marginalized identity in isolation from other marginalized identities. Specifically, past studies typically focus on the group members who are believed to be the most prototypical of marginalized groups in order to examine processes associated with discrimination (e.g., using Black men as targets when studying prejudice towards Black people). Because previous work largely examines the perceptions and experiences of prototypical marginalized group members, our understanding of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination is incomplete. I report five studies that use the intersectional invisibility framework as a scaffold to explore how perceivers’ judgments of prototypical versus non-prototypical group members differ. In Study 1, I explore how non-prototypical marginalized group members are represented in the media relative to their prototypical counterparts. Study 2 measures how explicit perceived stereotypes of prototypical and non-prototypical marginalized group members differ. Study 3 investigates how perceivers make attributions about prototypical and non-prototypical marginalized groups. Studies 4 and 5 examine how perceivers detect discrimination towards prototypical and non-prototypical marginalized group members. These studies empirically demonstrate that non-prototypical marginalized group members are perceived differently than their prototypical counterparts. These differences are associated with downstream consequences including reduced representation in popular culture and enhanced perceiver attention towards non-prototypical group members when compared to their prototypical counterparts.


  • thumnail for Mohr_columbia_0054D_14903.pdf Mohr_columbia_0054D_14903.pdf application/pdf 2.03 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Purdie-Greenaway, Valerie J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 18, 2018