Date of Award

Summer 8-18-2022

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



Many White Americans are motivated to be anti-racist but fall short. Often, they become defensive when confronted with their involvement in perpetuating racism. To address this, we designed an experiment to test a personalized, social modeling intervention that targets obstacles to responding constructively to being confronted about racism. In our multi-faceted intervention, participants learned from videos of role models who effectively managed a confrontation after doing something racist. After each video, participants wrote personalized reflections applying what they learned. In a registered sample of 391 White Americans, the intervention increased the personal acknowledgment of racial bias, changed relevant bias-related beliefs and motivations, and decreased defensiveness to bias feedback. The intervention did not change internal motivation to respond without prejudice, self-efficacy for bias regulation, and engagement to read more about racial bias. Together, these findings suggest that this multi-faceted intervention may empower White Americans with social and emotional skills to be anti-racist.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Calvin K. Lai

Committee Members

Tammy English, Clara Wilkins, Chris Rozek