DEVELOPING AN INTERVENTION TO INCREASE PROSOCIAL INTENTIONS RELATED TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Open Access
Author:
Hartbauer, Kari Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Psychology
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Andrew Peck, Thesis Supervisor
  • Cynthia L Huang Pollock, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • college campus
  • sexual misconduct
  • student orientation
  • sexual assault
  • rape
  • moral foundations
  • persuasion
Abstract:
Sexual misconduct is a widespread social problem. Increased attention to the matter has recently been brought to campus communities. College students are at highest risk of sexual assault during their first few weeks of school (West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information & Services, 2014). Unfortunately, it is challenging to find a suitable intervention for campus communities and many sexual misconduct interventions fail (Yeater and O’Donohue, 1999). This study aims to develop and test an effective intervention which can be put into place before or during students’ first few weeks on campus. Drawing on previous research, I use Moral Foundations Theory to design messages that match participants’ moral motivations to increase prosocial intentions related to sexual misconduct. I hypothesized that participants who read congruent messages would be view as more persuasive and results in more prosocial intentions. Based on research that incongruent messages were viewed as less persuasive (Herek, Gillis, Glunt, Lewis, Welton, and Capitanio, 1998), I hypothesized that participants who read incongruent messages would view the message as less persuasive and report fewer prosocial intentions.