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Descriptive captions and ideological beliefs as predictors of emotional response towards people in ambiguous photos

Anita A. Azeem, PhD*John A. Hunter, DPhilTed Ruffman, PhDDepartment of Psychology, University of Otago, New Zealand Abstract We conducted a randomized controlled experiment to investigate the role of descriptive captions (positive and negative valence) and ideological beliefs (Right Wing Authoritarianism – RWA and Social Dominance Orientation- SDO) on viewers’ emotional response towards ‘people of color’ in ambiguous photographs. We manipulated the caption conditions to suggest that the person’s actions were either ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ while keeping the visual stimuli consistent. Participants included 211 American and 201 Pakistani undergraduates who were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions: (1) ...

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