Document Type

Honors Project


Two studies were conducted to investigate the impact of educational interventions and contact with individuals with disabilities on explicit and implicit attitudes towards people with disabilities. In study 1, 63 participants watched one of two videos, one on the social model of disability (experimental condition) and the other about wheelchair soccer (control condition). Participants also completed measures of contact, explicit, and implicit attitudes toward people with disabilities. Results from regression analyses indicated no significant effects of the videos or reported contact on either explicit or implicit attitudes, challenging previous findings that suggested positive effects of contact and education on explicit attitudes. To address potential issues, study 2 included 42 participants, and employed a more substantial educational intervention. Rather than a video, the intervention in this study consisted of four intermediate and advanced psychology courses, with a course specifically on disability acting as the experimental condition. Results from repeated measure ANOVAs indicated no significant changes in explicit or implicit attitudes by condition over time. Importantly, due to the severely underpowered nature of this study extreme caution should be taken when attempting to examine and interpret the data provided. If replicated and validated, however, both studies may raise questions about the efficacy of educational interventions in altering deeply rooted societal attitudes, emphasizing the need for even more substantial and intentional approaches. In conclusion, the research underscores the challenges in shifting societal attitudes, and future research may explore longer and more tailored interventions to foster meaningful changes in attitudes towards disability.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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