Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Amy Hackney


Bisexual men regularly face prejudice from both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. These negative attitudes put stress on bisexual individuals that is associated with increased risk of mental illness, especially depression and suicide. There are currently no strategies with sufficient support from the literature to reduce this sexual prejudice. Imagined intergroup contact is a method used to reduce prejudice against an outgroup by asking people to imagine interacting with a member of an outgroup. The purpose of this research was to determine whether imagined intergroup contact was an effective intervention for reducing prejudice against bisexual men. Participants were randomly assigned to either the imagined contact group, in which they closed their eyes and imagined meeting a bisexual man for the first time from a third person perspective, or the control group, in which they imagined a nature scene. Participants then reported their intergroup anxiety, outgroup evaluation, perceived outgroup variability, attitudes towards bisexual men, and future intended contact. Results showed that there was no significant difference between the imagined contact group and the control group on any of the dependent measures. The effect of the imagination task, however, was moderated by participant gender. Although women had more favorable outgroup evaluations than men in the control group, there were no gender differences in outgroup evaluations in the experimental group. These results have implications for the effectiveness of the imagined intergroup contact method, as well as the way that gender influences sexual prejudice.