Degree Type

Honors Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences



Degree Name

Honors in the Major

First Advisor

Curtis Phills


Research demonstrates that Black people are more likely to be mistakenly shot in experimental computer programs when posing no threat (Correll, Park, Judd, & Wittenbrink, 2002; Greenwald, Oakes, & Hoffman, 2003). Additionally, when primed with a Black face, participants recognize guns faster, and are more likely to mistake a harmless object (e.g. tool) for a gun (Judd et al., 2004; Payne 2001;2006). This may be related to stereotyping of Black people as aggressive, dangerous, threatening, and criminal (Correll, Park, Judd, Wittenbrink, Sadler, & Keesee, 2007; Devine & Elliot, 1995; Hugenberg & Bodenhausen, 2003; Payne, 2001). The link between weapons and Black people may explain disparities in decisions to shoot. The current research was designed to investigate whether training in associating Black people with tools as opposed to weapons would reduce implicit bias immediately, and the extent to which this reduction in bias endures. Though previous training programs have successfully reduced shooter bias and stereotyping immediately and up to 24 hours later (Kawakami, Dovidio, Moll, Hermsen, & Russin, 2000; Plant, Peruche, & Butz, 2005), no research has yet systematically investigated the persistence of training effects up to at least one week later, which is necessary before implementing bias-reducing training programs into social institutions like schools or police departments. Participants in the counter-stereotypic training condition selected cell phones when presented with images of Black individuals and selected guns when presented with images of White individuals, whereas participants in the stereotype-maintenance condition made the opposite selections. Participants bias was measured immediately and again 1 to 7 days following their training session. Preliminary results are reported and the implications of this research are discussed.