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Publication Date

Summer 2023

Degree Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Susan Snycerski; Sean Laraway; Sean Pradhan


Underserved communities in the United States of America are topics of continuous interest, including racial inequality relating to drug arrests and policy, as well as stigmatization based on attributions. Previous research illustrates discrepancies regarding race and drugs, with arrest and conviction differences between African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos compared to White/European Americans, with the latter having fewer arrests and convictions. Regarding stigmatization and attributions, people perceived as the cause for their situation, or internal attribution, receive poorer interactions from others. This study is a conceptual replication examining whether cannabis narratives affect the perception of recreational cannabis use. Participants were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk to read a cannabis narrative depicting an individual with either cancer or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with internal or external attribution and complete a questionnaire examining the attitudes, beliefs, and intentions toward recreational cannabis. For both cancer and HIV conditions, a 2 (attribution) × 3 (race) between-subjects analysis of variance was conducted. The results of our study did not support previous research findings regarding race, stigmatized illness, and attribution. Furthermore, we found that prior history of cannabis positively affects attitudes, beliefs, and intentions toward recreational cannabis. The discussion explores plausible explanations for the differences in results.