Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2022

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Additional Affiliations

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



After facing racial or gender discrimination, people often seek support or allyship from others. However, who will provide effective support or allyship is often uncertain. To understand how people of color and women navigate this uncertainty, in two studies we randomly assigned participants to read a series of vignettes about potential allies. In each vignette, a person was described as either Black, Asian, Hispanic, or White and either a man or woman. Participants also sometimes learned that the person had a history of allyship behavior. Participants were then asked to envision that someone made a racist (Study 1) or sexist (Study 2) comment to them and were asked to rate the extent to which they expected the potential ally would become angry (i.e., affective allyship) and take action to support them (i.e., behavioral allyship) in response. We found that participants anticipated more support from people who shared their racial/ethnic group (Study 1), were women, and who had demonstrated past allyship behavior (Studies 1 and 2). Our findings indicate that group-specific stereotypes and shared stigmatization are both important in perceiving someone to be an ally.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Calvin K. Lai, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Committee Members

Tammy English, Lori Markson