Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Matthew Brashears


Identity theory provides a useful foundation for understanding how social factors influence the acceptance of evidence. This is because identity theory provides a framework of how we process information from other people depending on what social positions we occupy. The current study explored how the perception of power impacts the processing of an identity threat with college student participants (N=217). High power was predicted to decrease acceptance of identity-threatening information, and low power was predicted to increase acceptance of identity-threatening information. However, the study yielded non-significant effects of power on the acceptance of identity-threatening information. Results did show that individuals were more likely to accept identity-threatening information when they felt secure about their career prospects within their chosen major. Future research may be able parse out how exogenous social variables impact the processing of identity threats.

Included in

Sociology Commons