Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This researcher examined how participants' attitudes towards homosexuality influenced their ability to reason on logic test items concerning homosexuality. A 64-item logic test was developed to measure distortion in reasoning due to prohomosexual or antihomosexual beliefs (measured by 32 items), while controlling for distortions caused by the truth or falseness of conclusions on nonhomosexual matters (also measured by 32 items). McFarlands' (2000) abbreviated version of the Attitudes Towards Homosexuality Scale (ATH Scale) was administered to directly measure participants' attitudes. The logic test and ATH Scale was administered to 201 undergraduate psychology students. Data analyses showed a significant amount of distortion due to the truth-value of the conclusion. Correlations between scores on the logic test and the ATH Scale, after partialing out the effects of the truth-value of the conclusions, showed that on the logically valid items where accuracy was generally high, both antihomosexual and prohomosexual attitudes produced logical distortion in the direction of those attitudes. But on the invalid items, where logical error rates were much higher, only antihomosexual attitudes led to distortion. Overall, the findings provide more support for hypothesis that people with antihomosexual attitudes distort reasoning in keeping with their attitudes about these issues than do those with prohomosexual attitudes


Gender and Sexuality | Psychology