Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Shana Levin

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© 2018 Chloe H Rodman


This study experimentally examines how Americans’ structural perceptions of people from China predict stereotypes and emotions toward them using the theoretical perspective of the Extended SCM. We first ran a pilot study to ensure that our manipulations of the structural perceptions of Chinese power, goal compatibility, and cultural status were effective. We then conducted a between-participants experiment in which 105 students from a small liberal arts college read pseudo-news article excerpts. These articles were used to manipulate the structural perceptions of Chinese power and Chinese cultural status while emphasizing a competitive relationship between the United States and China throughout all experimental conditions. We assessed the causal relationships between outgroup cultural status, the stereotype of morality, and the intergroup emotion of contempt, as well as the causal relationships between outgroup power, the stereotype of competence, and contempt. Through ANOVA and regression analyses, we found no significant effect of cultural status on morality or contempt and no significant effect of power on competence or contempt. We expect that the low mean level and variability of contempt expressed by participants (M = 1.31, SD = .55) limited the results of this experiment. Future studies should make structural perception stimuli more influential on participants by using well-known authority figures to present structural information of outgroups. Also, researchers should measure contempt using less intense emotions, such as disdain and disrespect, which may limit social desirability and positivity biases in self-report surveys.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.