Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy Hackney

Committee Member 1

C. Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Rebekah Estevez


The present study evaluated the efficacy of a novel imagined intergroup contact procedure in reducing feelings of transnegativity held by cisgender individuals. The intervention, based on the Fast Friends Procedure (Aron et al., 1997), has participants interact with a fictional transgender person who answers questions about himself; participants then write a free-response answer to the question for themselves. The current hypotheses were that the imagined intergroup contact procedure would (1) reduce feelings of transnegativity, (2) reduce feelings of contact apprehension toward transgender people, and (3) increase feelings of self-other overlap between cisgender people and a transgender target. In Study 1, a group of primarily White, cisgender female college students (n = 44) completed the imagined contact procedure to see if it increased feelings of self-other overlap; a demographically similar group was evaluated for Study 2 (n = 55) to see if it increased feelings of self-other overlap while decreasing feelings of contact apprehension and self-reported transnegative beliefs. While Study 1 saw an increase of feelings in self-other overlap between cisgender people and the transgender target (Cohen’s d = .59), Study 2 saw no impact of the imagined intergroup contact procedure on any of the target measures (all ps > .05). This may be due to small sample size and inadequate power or due to the imagined intergroup contact scenario using only part of the Fast Friends Procedure (Aron et al., 1997); rather than using all twenty-four questions, it only sampled four of them. If the findings are accurate, it means that the novel imagined intergroup contact procedure, as used in the current study, is an ineffective way to reduce transnegativity among participants. Researchers must continue exploring new venues of prejudice reduction to best protect transgender individuals.

Research Data and Supplementary Material