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Implications of National Symbols for Majority and Minority Group Members' Academic Performance

Title: Implications of National Symbols for Majority and Minority Group Members' Academic Performance: Examining Potential Mediators.
Name(s): Butz, David Allen, author
Plant, E. Ashby, professor directing dissertation
Baylor, Amy, outside committee member
Tice, Dianne M., committee member
Maner, Jon K., committee member
Kelley, Colleen M., committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Previous research indicates that exposure to the U.S. flag increases the academic performance of racial majority group members, but does not influence the performance of racial minority group members. The current work tests the hypothesis that exposure to the U.S. flag increases academic performance among White participants because the flag activates inclusion thoughts or inhibits death thoughts. National inclusion, the extent to which people feel included and supported by their nation, was examined as a moderator of the effect of flag exposure on responses. In Study 1, racial majority and minority group member participants reported their national inclusion on an internet survey and completed measures of activation/inhibition and academic performance in the presence or absence of national symbols in the laboratory. In Study 2, White participants completed measures of national inclusion and activation/inhibition at an initial lab session and completed an academic test in the presence or absence of the U.S. flag 4-7 days later. Consistent with predictions, in Study 1 White participants high in national inclusion responded to the U.S. flag with marginally greater activation of inclusion thoughts and performance than participants low in national inclusion, whereas the flag did not influence racial minority group members' inclusion or performance. Exposure to the U.S. flag did not inhibit death thoughts for majority or minority group members. In Study 2, White participants responded with marginally greater performance in the presence versus the absence of the flag regardless of their national inclusion. Across both studies, the flag's activation of inclusion thoughts or inhibition of death thoughts did not mediate the influence of the flag on White participants' performance. These findings indicate that national symbols exclusively influence majority group members' academic performance, although the mechanisms through which symbols influence performance are unclear. Other plausible mediating factors and the implications of the current findings for understanding the range of factors that influence academic performance are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2397 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Psychology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2007.
Date of Defense: June 20, 2007.
Keywords: Racial And Ethnic Differences, National Symbols, U.S. Flag, Academic Performance, Cognitive Ability, Achievement
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: E. Ashby Plant, Professor Directing Dissertation; Amy Baylor, Outside Committee Member; Dianne M. Tice, Committee Member; Jon K. Maner, Committee Member; Colleen M. Kelley, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Butz, D. A. (2007). Implications of National Symbols for Majority and Minority Group Members' Academic Performance: Examining Potential Mediators. Retrieved from