Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Scott Eidelman

Committee Member

Denise R. Beike

Second Committee Member

David A. Schroeder

Abstract

Marginalized groups face difficulties voicing their interests. They are perceived as more self-interested, biased, and excessive for advocacy relative to majority groups. While such accusations are intimidating in their own right, powerful members of marginalized groups may be especially sensitive to reprisals in response to advocacy. The present research highlights the ironic role of power on group-relevant advocacy among marginalized groups; identity-based pressures dissuade advocacy because it is personally costly. An Internet study and one lab study examined the effect of high and low power primes on women's self-reported and actual willingness for group-relevant advocacy. Data support my hypothesis that psychological power evokes reluctance for group-relevant advocacy among marginalized women. Powerful women (but not men) reported less advocacy willingness and avoided opportunities to pursue advocacy when it was relevant to their gender group. These findings speak to the impediment of social progress, considering power within the context of identity threats.

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