THE TURBAN EFFECT:
THE INFLUENCE OF MUSLIM HEADGEAR AND INDUCED AFFECT ON AGGRESSIVE RESPONSES IN THE SHOOTER BIAS PARADIGM -
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2008
Does Islamic appearance increase aggressive tendencies, and what role does affect play in such responses? In a computer game, participants made rapid decisions to shoot at armed people, some of whom wore Islamic head dress.
We predicted and found a significant bias for participants to shoot more at Muslim targets. We also predicted and found that positive mood selectively increased aggressive tendencies towards Muslims, consistent with affect-cognition theories that predict a more top-down, stereotypical processing style in positive mood.
In contrast, induced anger increased the propensity to shoot at all targets. The relevance of these results for our understanding of real-life negative reactions towards Muslims is discussed, and the influence of affective states on rapid aggressive responses is considered.