The effects of age and gender on optimistic bias and stereotype salience for cardiovascular disease in college students

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The effects of age and gender on optimistic bias and stereotype salience for cardiovascular disease in college students

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/14834

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dc.contributor.advisor Terre, Lisa en
dc.contributor.author Kruse, Heather Christine
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-17T21:08:56Z
dc.date.available 2013-08-17T11:15:07Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-17
dc.date.submitted 2012 Summer en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10355/14834
dc.description Title from PDF of title page, viewed on August 17, 2012 en
dc.description Dissertation advisor: Lisa Terre en
dc.description Vita en
dc.description Includes bibliographic references (p. 103-113) en
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.)--Dept. of Psychology. University of Missouri--Kansas City, 2012 en
dc.description.abstract Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death within the United States, yet many of its risk factors are largely preventable and begin early in life. College students engage in many unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, and inactivity which may increase their chances of developing CVD. However, research shows that college students may hold an optimistic bias toward developing the disease; that is, they believe that their chances of developing CVD are less than their peers. In addition, stereotypes about who is likely to develop CVD may result in females and young adults underestimating their risk and therefore failing to take precautionary measures. Unfortunately, little is known about how to help individuals develop a more realistic risk appraisal. Research on information processing and Social Learning Theory (SLT) suggest that interventions that provide an individual with knowledge on risk factor modification and modeling may be effective at reducing the salience of common stereotypes about who is likely to develop the disease (i.e., “stereotype salience”, a hypothesized correlate of optimistic bias). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational manipulation aimed at reducing optimistic bias and stereotype salience for CVD among college students. Data were collected from a sample of 162 undergraduate students at a midsized Midwestern university. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four vignette conditions to determine if a model's characteristics affected optimistic bias and stereotype salience for CVD. It was hypothesized that individuals randomly assigned to an age and gender consistent condition would have the greatest reduction in scores on optimistic bias and stereotype salience post-intervention. Results indicated that exposure to the manipulation did not lower optimistic bias or stereotype salience for CVD in college students. Other emerging literature suggests that there may be more promising approaches to risk reduction. en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents Introduction -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion en
dc.format.extent xii, 114 pages en
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Missouri--Kansas City en
dc.subject.lcsh Cardiovascular system -- Diseases -- Risk factors en
dc.subject.lcsh Risk perception en
dc.subject.lcsh College students -- Attitudes en
dc.subject.other Dissertation -- University of Missouri--Kansas City -- Psychology en
dc.title The effects of age and gender on optimistic bias and stereotype salience for cardiovascular disease in college students en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Psychology en
thesis.degree.grantor University of Missouri--Kansas City en
thesis.degree.name Ph.D. en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en


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