Covered in stigma? The impact of differing levels of Islamic head-covering on explicit and implicit biases towards Muslim women

Jim A.C. Everett, Fabian M.H. Schellhaas, Brian D. Earp, Victoria Ando, Jessica Memoriza, Cesare V. Parise, Benjamin Fell, Miles Hewstone
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 90- 104

Given the prominence of Muslim veils—in particular the hijab and full-face veil—in public discourse concerning the place of Muslims in Western society, we examined their impact on non-Muslims’ responses at both explicit and implicit levels. Results revealed that responses were more negative toward any veil compared with no veil, and more negative toward the full-face veil relative to the hijab: for emotions felt toward veiled women (Study 1), for non-affective attitudinal responses (Study 2), and for implicit negative attitudes revealed through response latency measures (Studies 3a and 3b). Finally, we manipulated the perceived reasons for wearing a veil, finding that exposure to positive reasons for wearing a veil led to better predicted and imagined contact (Study 4). Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.