Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Brent Mattingly


The aim of this research was to investigate how being under cognitive load can impact individuals’ attitudes toward gender minorities. Specifically, we predicted that individuals would demonstrate more negative attitudes towards gender minorities and demonstrate an increase in dichotomous thinking when under high cognitive load due to the inability and lack of cognitive resources to consciously override these negative attitudes. The original plan of this study was to recruit participants from two samples: SONA and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. The procedure of the study was to first ask participants to consent to the study, then they were to be randomly assigned into two groups for the cognitive load manipulation (high vs. low). Next, the participants were to be asked to complete a questionnaire with measures of self-esteem and various beliefs including: religious, political, and gender identity views. In addition, the participants were to be asked to complete a social desirability measure and finally the participants were to complete demographic questions including: age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Unfortunately, this research was not conducted this semester due to the complications of the coronavirus, however, the goal of this presentation is to outline the theory and methods behind the research.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 23 – April 30, 2020.

The downloadable file is a poster with recorded audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.