Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Stefan E. Schulenberg

Second Advisor

Kirk Johnson

Third Advisor

Elicia C. Lair

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

The present study examined whether the value of self-transcendence and the degree to which individuals report behaving consistently with their values (value-behavior consistency) impact the association of meaning and racial prejudice against White and Black individuals. The study was conducted with a college population from a university located in the southern United States. The final sample was composed of 362 people, 281 females and 81 males, with a majority of participants self-identifying as White (73.8%). To assess meaning, the Purpose in Life test – Short Form (PIL-SF) and the Meaning in Life Questionnaire Presence subscale (MLQ-Presence) were administered. Social judgment was assessed through the Social Dominance Scale (SDS), the Motivation to Control Prejudiced Reactions Scale (MCPRS), and the Prejudice Against Whites and Blacks Scales (PWBS). Finally, the Portrait Value Questionnaire Revised (PVQ-RR) and the Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ) were administered to identify individual values and to measure value-behavior consistency, respectively. Demographic information collected included such areas as race, sex, age, religious, and political affiliation. The main proposed model stated that under high levels of the value of self-transcendence, the relationship between meaning in life and prejudice would be significantly mediated by value-behavior consistency. In the second model it was proposed that if the value of self-transcendence was not a significant moderator then both value-behavior consistency and the value of self-transcendence would significantly mediate the relationship between perceived meaning in life and prejudice. Standard path-analytic approaches were used to examine the models through the macro PROCESS, designed by Hayes (2013). Results refuted the first proposed model and partially supported the second model by confirming self-transcendence as a significant mediator of the relationship between meaning in life and overall scores of prejudice. In the discussion section, the results are analyzed on light of the current literature and hypotheses of the study, and the limitations and future research directions are considered.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Clinical Psychology

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