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Sharyn Kennedy

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Suppressing stereotypes of the poor: Rebound effects can be positive (as well as negative)

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Previous research shows that when people try not to think about others in a stereotypical way they often end up behaving more, not less, stereotypically later on. In a series of four experiments, Ms Kennedy examined whether this so-called stereotype rebound effect occurs when thinking about the developing world poor as they are portrayed in aid advertisements. Contrary to previous research findings she found evidence to suggest that suppression of stereotypical thinking leads to less stereotypical thinking about, and behaviour toward, the developing world poor target group. Ms Kennedy’s research furthers our understanding of people’s cognitive reactions to images of the poor in aid advertisements and suggests that further research is needed to explain how these images can best elicit donations and support for development.

Professor Stuart Carr
Dr Steve Atkins
Dr Stephen Hill

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