Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Toni Bisconti


The current research examines the role of identity in the context of threat towards further understanding bias, persuasion, and belief perseverance in what is defined as IRT (Immediately Relevant Threat) conditions. Using pre, middle, and post measurements, four groups of differing ideological student organizations across 4 university or college campuses were presented critical messages that were varied by the source being either an in-group or out-group presenter of the message. Messages were also varied by either presenting a message that criticized the entire group or only a few of its members. With the use of hierarchical linear modeling and conventional ordinary least square statistics, results indicated general and specific effects of source of the message and the inclusiveness of criticism towards predicting bias, persuasion, and belief perseverance in environmental settings. Findings and their practical applications are discussed.