Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Garcia, Donna


The United States has a long-standing history of appropriating Indigenous representations for the use of mascots in athletics. Despite protest by Indigenous groups against this practice, professional athletics teams continue to appropriate Indigenous representations as mascots. The National Congress of American Indians produced a public service announcement (PSA), Proud to Be (PTB), to elicit support from the general public for changing the name/mascot Redskins. The purpose of the proposed research is to experimentally examine the effects that PTB has on support among Non-Indigenous participants, as function of political alignment. We considered two competing outcomes: The Counterproductive Hypothesis predicts the more conservative participants are, the less supportive they will be of changing the Redskin name/mascot, especially after watching the PTB rather than two control PSAs (directed at ending the word retard or reducing texting and driving). We also expect that the more conservative participants are, the less supportive they will be of either “name change” campaign, especially the one that corresponds with the PSA they view. Alternately, The Effective Hypothesis predicts if the PSA induces empathy among viewers, it could elicit support independent of political perspective. That is, participants will be supportive of changing the Redskin name/mascot after watching PTB rather than either control PSA. This effect will occur through the effects of PTB on increased empathy (specific to the target group). Preliminary analyses provide support for the Effective Hypothesis: Regardless of political perspective, participants experienced increased empathy for Indigenous People after viewing PTB, which led to increased support for the message promoted by Proud to Be.