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Dispositional and situational predictors of Anti-Racist bystander intervention on behalf of Indigenous Australians

McKee, Megan (2014) Dispositional and situational predictors of Anti-Racist bystander intervention on behalf of Indigenous Australians. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Racial discrimination towards Indigenous Australians is highly prevalent in today’s society. Such discrimination is detrimental to Indigenous Australians mental and physical health and wellbeing (Paradies, Harris & Anderson, 2008). Bystander antiracism is the positive action undertaken by a witness of a racist event to intervene in support of the victim (Nelson, Dunn, & Paradies, 2011). Utilising Identity Theory as a theoretical framework, the present study investigated the predictive utility of dispositional factors compared with situational factors in anticipating the likelihood of bystander anti-racist action. Dispositional Empathy and Dispositional Efficacy were compared with situation specific factors Indigenous Empathy and Bystander Efficacy. The sample comprised of 156 Australian participants who completed a questionnaire measuring how these variables were associated with the likelihood of bystander anti-racist action. To quantify likelihood of action, participants were presented with a safe scenario of racism unfolding in a restaurant with the perpetrator, an acquaintance, who makes racist comments. In line with Identity Theory, it was hypothesised likelihood of bystander anti-racism action would be predicted by situational specific factors over dispositional factors. Being able to predict when a bystander will enact such an identity role is important in advancing the bystander literature. The results indicate this finding is partially supported with Bystander Intervention Opportunity being the most predictive of bystander action intention. Practical implications include highlighting the need for bystander education and training programs that work towards reducing the prevalence of racism in society. As the current research is novel, future research into this area is required to confirm the findings of this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Supervisor(s): Pedersen, Anne
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