Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Joshua Correll

Second Advisor

Eliana Colunga

Third Advisor

Glenda Walden

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


The Weapon Identification Task (WIT) was designed to measure mental associations between race and the concepts of danger or violence. Consistently, the task demonstrates that on average, after being shown the face of a Black male, participants responded faster and more accurately to gun stimuli. This experiment was designed to test whether the results of the WIT could be due to prime-target salience matches. In study 1, a WIT was designed using visually salient faces as primes. The contrast of these face primes was manipulated in order to create high or low salience. In study 2, a WIT was created to test if the illusory correlation could be used to manipulate salience conceptually. The results of study 1 and study 2 did not provide support for the salience-matching hypothesis.