Date of Award:

2017

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Melanie M. Domenech Rodriquez

Abstract

To combat microaggressions and their impact on persons of color, there needs to be an increased awareness and ability to detect microaggressions when they occur. This study examined the efficacy of a multimedia intervention aimed at increasing White individuals’ ability to accurately detect microaggressions.

Undergraduate university students (61 women, 40 men, 2 other) were recruited from two predominantly White universities (PWU). All participants completed pre- and post-intervention materials, and 54 participants completed the 1-week follow-up materials. At pre-intervention, participants watched a set of video clips (e.g., television, movies), some of which contained racial and ethnic microaggressions, answered a series of questions regarding the content of the videos, and completed the Colorblind Racial Attitudes Scale (CoBRAS). Participants in the high-exposure intervention condition watched a 1-hour video lecture on racial and ethnic microaggressions. Participants in the low-exposure and control conditions read an article (e.g., racial and ethnic microaggressions or positive psychology) and answered a series of questions regarding the content of the articles. At post-intervention, completed immediately following the intervention, and 1-week follow-up, participants watched another set of video clips and some of which included racial and ethnic microaggressions. Participants then answered a series of questions regarding the content of the video, and completed a CoBRAS.

The high-exposure intervention condition did not demonstrate any significant change from pre- to post- intervention detection rates. There was no significant change from pre- to post-intervention to 1-week follow-up detection rates between conditions. Post-hoc analyses regarding colorblindness indicated a significant decrease in CoBRAS total score from pre-intervention (M = 62.23, SD = 15.39) to post-intervention across participants (M = 61.67, SD = 15.66), t(102) = 3.26, p = .002, d = .32, indicating a decrease in overall colorblindness. There was a significant decrease in Unawareness of Racial Privilege scores from pre-intervention (M = 26.67, SD = 7.51) to post-intervention across participants (M = 25.51, SD = 7.87), t(102) = 3.28, p = .001, d = .32, indicating an increased awareness of racial privilege. Awareness of institutional discrimination and blatant racial discrimination did not shift significantly. Interpretations and implications of the findings, are discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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