The Confluence

Document Type



Objective: Explicit and implicit attitudes play a role in disability discrimination. The purpose of this study was to look at the relationship between explicit and implicit attitudes towards people with disabilities. Method: Participants (N = 78) were asked to complete an online survey with 10 questions asking them to rate the extent to which they agree or disagree with questions measuring explicit attitudes. Participants then completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) looking at disabilities. The IAT measured participants’ accuracy and speed when sorting pictures indicating abled-body people or disabled-body people and words associated with “good” or “bad” connotations. Participants’ scores on each measure were used to run a correlational analysis. Results: Looking at the average explicit score, M = 60, can show that participants explicitly have positive attitudes towards people with disabilities, while the implicit average score, d = -.63, shows participants might implicitly favor people without disabilities over people with disabilities. The results also showed a statistically nonsignificant positive relationship between explicit and implicit attitudes, r(76) = .095, p = .4. Participants who did not know someone with a disability had a stronger correlation, r(28) = .2, p = .2, than those who did, r(46) = .03, p = .2. Conclusions: The lack of significant correlation between implicit and explicit scores reveals that people may explicitly act one way but implicitly think the other. Being aware of these attitudes can help us to open up and talk more about the biases people with disabilities face and help reduce the stigma.

Author Bio

Abigail Right graduated from Lindenwood in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. She is currently working towards an Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology at UMSL.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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