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Title: Discussing Diversity: How Interracial Communication is Impacted by Diversity Frame
Authors: Fein, Hannah
Advisors: Sinclair, Stacey
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Most higher-education institutions today would name diversity as one of their top priorities; however, their rationalizations for doing so may differ and often hinge on describing diversity as either an instrumental good or a moral good. The current study adds to the burgeoning literature on diversity rationales, or frames, by examining how individuals may interact differently when their school espouses one or the other perspective. After reading about a school with either an instrumental or moral diversity frame, White participants wrote a letter to a hypothetical future roommate, whose race was manipulated. The textual data were analyzed using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis software, which uses a master dictionary of almost 6,400 words to code for psychologically relevant variables. Aligning with predictions, the data suggested an interaction between frame and race in expressed inquisitiveness, whereby Whites were more inquisitive towards Blacks in the instrumental frame and less in the moral frame — however, the interaction emerged only in portions of the writing that were not going to be shared with the roommate. Contrary to predictions, most of the other variables of interest, including authenticity, competence, and linguistic complexity, saw no significant differences between letters by frame or race. A slight, but consistent, pattern of increased positivity and warmth toward Black versus White roommates in the moral frame emerged. We interpret these results and posit directions for future research. Keywords: diversity, education, university, college, race, Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC), intergroup contact, instrumental frame, moral frame
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2020

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