Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Jesse Owen

Second Advisor

Pat Garriott

Third Advisor

Lisa Brownstone

Fourth Advisor

Jason Richardson


Information avoidance, Masculinity, White, White privilege, Work


The current study examined how White privilege information avoidance and White fragility are related to aspects of traditional masculinity. Informed by Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies, this study examined the link between traditional masculine norms, masculine gender identity stress, and White privilege reactions. A sample of White, working men were recruited both through snowball sampling and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants were first assessed on a variety of masculinity variables and then were randomly assigned to view one of two video vignettes. After viewing this video, their affective responses, White privilege information avoidance, and White fragility were assessed through self-report measures. The video vignettes both depicted two White men in a typical office setting, with one man discussing this frustrations with being passed up for a promotion by a different coworker. The videos were identical with the exception of coded racial microaggressions in the experimental video condition suggesting the coworker who received the promotion is Black. It was expected that White men’s higher scores on masculinity subscales will be positively associated with White privilege information avoidance and expressions of White fragility. Additionally, after observing a threat to White male privilege within the workplace, participants with higher adherence to traditional masculine identity norms were hypothesized to display increased White privilege reactions, such as finding the situation to be unfair or affective reactions such as anger or frustration. For participants randomized to the experimental condition, the masculine norms of Winning and Self-Reliance were found to interact with their scores on White fragility and White Privilege Information Avoidance. There were no other effects found from the experimental intervention. Additional research findings, implications and limitations are presented.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Anna Edelman

File size

145 pgs

File format





Psychology, Social research