Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Leo Herrman


Every person unconsciously uses attitude heuristics to categorize individuals as either “good” or “bad.” The current study examines the question of whether or not age and gender play a role in the perceptions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals being more prone to mental illness because of their sexual orientation based on the observer’s attitude heuristics. The participants for this study will be 200 anonymous online individuals from across the United States. Participants will complete a survey designed to measure their attitudes toward sexual orientation, mental illness, simple core beliefs/values, and attitude heuristics based on generalized standards of “good” or “bad.” The survey includes the Homophobia Scale (HS), the Generalized Attitude Measure (GAM) and the Attitude Heuristics and LGBT Mental Illness Questionnaire. The study hypothesizes that 1) participants aged 18 – 34 will place LGBT persons in the “good” category and less prone to be mentally ill, than participants aged 35 – 65 who will place LGBT persons in the “bad” category and more prone towards mental illness, and 2) females will be more likely than males to place LGBT persons in the “good” category with less mental illness proneness. The data will be analyzed using a chi-square analysis to examine simple correlations.


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