Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Examining Implicit Biases in Relation to Self-Presentation and Audience-Tuning Effects

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Patrick Morse

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Self-presentation is a goal-directed activity of controlling information to influence the impressions formed about oneself by an audience. This is a very common behavior in our daily lives, in which we tune our attitudes to get along with those around us (Skorinko & Sinclair, 2018). Another concept that aids in understanding why people change their personal views and attitudes in order to match those around them, is the audience-tuning effect. Audience-tuning influences one’s way of interacting with people in social settings, and our confidence in how they are perceived. Recent studies suggest the audience-tuning effect when communicating common stereotypes and biases (such as race), affect our way of expressing implicit feelings to other people (Ye et al., 2021). Our study aims to investigate this further; specifically, how communication racial biases can be affected by self-presentation and audience-tuning effects. This study includes 60 participants recruited from undergraduate students at Belmont University. Half of the participants will be primed that their answers from this study will be given to a local diversity group, the other half will not be primed. Participants will first complete the Modern Racism Scale to measure the expression of their explicit racial biases (McConahay, 1986). Participants will then complete the Implicit Associations Test to measure their true attitudes on race, also known as implicit biases. We hypothesize when participants are primed that their results will go to a diversity group, those who score higher on the implicit bias scale will answer the explicit bias measure to fit the societal norms of the diversity group in contradiction to their implicit results. We hope this study can serve as tool to understand self-presentation through the audience tuning effect and biases.

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