Disgust as a predictor of shooter bias

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Racial bias in shooting decisions has been a prominent issue in America for several decades. Several psychological and environmental factors have been correlated with bias in shooting decisions, but one factor that has not been explored is the trait of disgust. Disgust may explain some aspects of racial bias in shootings because it is correlated with behaviors and cognitions related to the exclusion of outgroups. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between trait disgust and racial bias in the decision to shoot. Participants completed the First-Person Shooter Task to measure their implicit racial bias in shooting decisions and then completed personality questionnaires to assess their disgust sensitivities and explicit racial biases. I predicted that participants higher in disgust sensitivity would show more racial bias in shooting decisions. I also explored the possibility that participant skin tone may impact racial bias in shooting decisions. Skin tone was not found to impact racial bias, but moral disgust was found to significantly predict racial bias in shooting decisions.

Shooter bias, Disgust, Moral disgust