Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.


Access Type

Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



People often express essentialist beliefs about race and nationality, viewing each as causally powerful and stable over time. However, do essentialist intuitions apply across intersectional categories? Here, across White-non-Latine (n = 197), White-Latine (n = 202) and non-White-Latine (n = 151) Americans, we find that essentialist beliefs about nationality differ based on participant race-ethnicity and the skin-color of the target American. In White-Latines and non-Latines, both white-skinned and brown-skinned targets’ “Americanness” were essentialized above chance, but white-skinned targets were essentialized at higher rates. However, non-White-Latines essentialized Americanness similarly in both white and brown-skinned targets. Further, only participants who essentialized Americanness in white-skinned, but not brown-skinned, Americans expressed greater warmth toward White immigrants over Latine immigrants. Those who essentialized Americanness equally in white- and brown-skinned targets showed no difference in warmth. These findings illustrate the importance of investigating cognitive precursors to prejudice through an intersectional perspective in ethnically diverse samples.


First Advisor

Tara Mandalaywala

Second Advisor

John Tawa

Third Advisor

Linda Tropp