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TitleLively Final 2
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The Effects of Sexist Language on Attribution of Blame Following Sexual Assault


Lisa S. Lively

A dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of

Auburn University

in Partial Fulfillment of the

Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Auburn, Alabama

May 7, 2012

Keywords: sexist language, priming, ambivalent sexism, victim blame,

perpetrator blame, sexual assault

Copyright 2012 by Lisa S. Lively

Approved by

Randolph Pipes, Chair, Professor of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling

Ana M. Franco-Watkins, Associate Professor of Psychology

Annette Kluck, Associate Professor of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling

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number of letters. Please click ‘Continue’ when you are finished.” Data from the recall task also

served as part of the manipulation check, which will be described below.

Explicit Priming Condition

In the explicit priming conditions, instructions for what to do with the word list and

directions on how to complete the word stems varied from the implicit condition. Participants


You will be presented with a series of words. Please read each word and try to remember

the words you are about to see because you will be tested on these words later. Please

click ‘Continue’ when you feel you have learned the word and are ready to move to the

next word.

After clicking ‘Continue,’ participants were taken to a new screen that contained abbreviated

instructions and the first word of the task. The abbreviated instructions stated, “Please click

‘Continue’ when you feel you have learned the word and are ready to move to the next word.”

This procedure was repeated for each of the 15 words of their assigned language condition. The

words for participants in the explicit condition were based on their randomly assigned language

condition (hostile, benevolent, neutral). Thus participants received one of three language types

(as described above).

Participants were then asked to complete a series of word stems. For each word stem,

participants were given the first three letters and were asked to complete the word. Instructions


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