Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-13-2015

Major Department or Program



Brooke Vick


While research has shown that having an advocate claim discrimination on behalf of another reduces others’ negative evaluations of both the target of discrimination and the advocate, relatively little is known about the target’s evaluation of their advocate. The helping literature demonstrates that the identity of the advocate in relation to that of the receiver of help influences the recipient’s evaluation of their advocate and the type of help received. In the present study, 65 participants who identified as racial minorities were asked to imagine themselves in a scenario in which they did not get hired for a job due to racial discrimination, and then received either autonomy- or dependency-oriented help from either a White or racial minority advocate. Participants then evaluated their advocate and the help they provided. Contrary to previous literature and our hypotheses, we found no difference in evaluations of White or minority advocates in terms of efficacy, level of complaining, and general mood toward their advocate depending on the type of help the advocate provided. However, we found that when autonomy-oriented help was provided, participants viewed minority advocates as more likeable than White advocates. We believe that this research will add to the advocacy and helping literature, which informs individuals on how to become more effective advocates. As such, this area of research can impact careers in social work and advocacy in general.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Advocate -- Evaluation, Social evolution -- Research, Identity (Philosophical concept), Race discrimination -- Case study, Dependency (Psychology) -- Testing, Social advocacy -- Psychological aspects, Social sciences, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2015 -- Psychology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator

Included in

Psychology Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).