Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights is topic on March 29

by Contributed Content on March 28, 2021

So, how do you get people to rethink their prejudices?

Menlo College Professor of Political Science Melissa R. Michelson (pictured), and Brian F. Harrison examine what tactics are effective in changing public opinion regarding transgender people in a Menlo Park Library talk on Monday, March 29, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. The result is a new approach that they call Identity Reassurance Theory. Register online.

The idea is that individuals need to feel confident in their own identity before they can embrace a stigmatized group like transgender people, and that support of members of an outgroup can be encouraged by affirming the self-esteem of those targeted for attitude change.

Michelson and Harrison, through their experiments, show that the most effective messaging on transgender issues meets people where they are, acknowledges their discomfort without judgment or criticism, and helps them to think about transgender people and rights in a way that aligns with their view of themselves as moral human beings.

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