Numerous researchers have studied the effects of media messages, particularly those surrounding race/ethnicity and discriminatory events, and elicitation of emotional responses by people of color (Namkoong, et al., 2012; Seate & Mastro, 2017). There is a gap, however, in the existing research regarding the emotional response of ingroup members, individuals that are of the same race as those completing the discriminatory acts. The present study attempts to address this gap by framing discriminatory events on the individual and institutional level, and measuring white collective guilt. Participants included 40 white undergraduate students from the College of Wooster, 28 women and 12 men, between the ages of 18 and 22. They were randomly sorted into one of three test groups three individual racism, institutional racism, and a control group. Findings indicated that there were no significant differences between the level of white collective guilt elicited between conditions. No significant results were found regarding the moderation of collective guilt by gender, by white racial identity, nor by number of cultural courses taken. While the results were not significant, this study begins to address an area of study that is lacking. It also informs directions for future research, like in the topic of white fragility and the elicitation of collective guilt and reparation behaviors.


Thelamour, Barbara




Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Maeven Barry