Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kristen Salomon, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Judith Bryant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Toru Shimizu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.


Racism, Implicit association test, Stroop task, Stress aftereffects, Helping, Control


In a series of two experiments, the first involving 121 participants and the second 114, I investigated whether level of racial prejudice is related to performance on a cognitive task and helping behavior in participants who had just interacted with the target of their prejudice. The moderating effect of control was tested and, unlike previous research, the responses of African-American participants were studied too. It was proposed that when people interact with the target of their prejudice, they will experience stress and the aftereffects of stress will lead to a decrement in Stroop task performance and a lower likelihood of helping someone in need. Control was believed to moderate this effect such that those given control would suffer less of a performance decrement and would help more often. Data were analyzed using ANCOVA and logistic regression. Racial prejudice was found to affect European-American but not African-American Stroop performance following the interracial interaction. Control moderated this effect and also influenced whether someone helped a person in need.