Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jennifer K. Bosson


anger, disgust, emotion, sexual prejudice


In the current project, I examined the distinct elicitors and behavioral outcomes of anti-gay anger and anti-gay disgust. The CAD triad hypothesis (Rozin, Lower, Imada, & Haidt, 1999) suggests that anger and disgust are elicited by distinct moral violations and cognitive appraisals. A plethora of research has documented the strong link between disgust and sexual prejudice, but very little attention has been given to the role of anger in sexual prejudice. The biocultural framework of stigmatization (Neuberg, Smith, & Asher, 2000) suggests that people who counter-socialize against prevailing social norms are stigmatized by others. If homosexual sexual behavior does not elicit anti-gay anger (Giner-Sorrolla, Bosson, Caswell & Hettinger, 2012), then anti-gay anger might be elicited by promoting positive views of homosexuality. In Study 1, participants were induced to feel anger, disgust, or no emotion and then rated one of two gay male target groups. I expected that cognitive appraisals of morality violation would increase when the emotional state was congruent with the perceived threat posed by the target, but the emotion induction failed to elicit differences in cognitive appraisals. The results of Study 2, collected from a non-student sample, were also inconsistent with my hypothesis. Sexually explicit behavior did not elicit disgust, and behavior which resulted in more tolerant attitudes toward homosexuality failed to elicit anger and harm appraisals. These results suggest that sexual prejudice research requires stricter experimental control than online data collection methods currently allow.