Online Evaluative Conditioning Did Not Alter Internalized Homonegativity or Self-Esteem in Gay Men

John B. Fleming*, Michelle Nicole Burns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Internalized homonegativity is linked to psychological distress in sexual minorities and is thus a potential treatment target in this population. Previous studies have shown that evaluative conditioning (EC) can modify self-esteem, another self-directed attitude. The present study aimed to determine if EC deployed over the Internet could modify self-esteem and internalized homonegativity. Method: Gay men recruited online (N = 184) were randomly assigned to a control group or an experimental condition. Participants completed self-reports and measures of implicit attitudes before and after being exposed to control or experimental tasks. The study was administered online. Results: There were no significant between-group differences on implicit or explicit self-esteem (ps >.49) or internalized homonegativity (ps >.28). Conclusion: Despite past laboratory success, Internet-based EC did not produce significant effects in implicit or explicit self-directed attitudes. Post hoc analyses did not support any of several potential explanations for these results. Alternative explanations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1026
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume73
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Keywords

  • evaluative conditioning
  • homosexuality (male)
  • internalized homonegativity
  • minority stress
  • self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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