Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Women believe that they would confront perpetrators of sexual harassment, but when put in a sexually harassing situation they rarely confront (Woodzicka & LaFrance, 2001). Women may overestimate their likelihood of confronting because they think they would be concerned with fairness, but in actuality the need to belong strongly dissuades women from confronting harassers. I tested this idea by randomly assigning women to be primed with a belonging, fairness, or no goal, and then had them predict how they would respond to sexually harassing or surprising interview questions. Women who viewed the sexually harassing interview questions predicted more confrontational behavior and negative emotions than women who viewed surprising interview questions. I found partial support for the impact of goals; women who were primed with a belonging goal were less likely to predict several confrontational behaviors and predicted more fear than women primed with a fairness goal or no goal.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.