Anita Atwell

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Yuki Fujioka - Chair


Visual implicit propositioning suggests that exemplars can activate stereotypes regarding social group members, affecting how individuals may perceive issues presented in a news format. This experiment sought to test the main tenet of visual implicit propositioning by examining how gay exemplars affect social estimate perceptions associated with the mortgage crisis and support for programs that would help homeowners refinance their mortgages. One hundred and ninety heterosexual college students read a news story featuring recent the mortgage crisis with a gay male couple, a heterosexual couple or a house and reported their perceptions related to various social groups. Gay exemplars did not affect social estimate perceptions, but did affect support for programs that would help homeowners refinance their homes. Attitudes towards gay males was examined as a moderating variable, however, this study did not find that these attitudes moderated the relationship between the exemplar presented and social estimates or support for programs.


Included in

Communication Commons