Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Diaz, Ismael


The primary purpose of this study was to observe the dynamics between sexual harassment (SH), social identity theory, and justice perceptions. Furthermore, participants’ past experience with SH may have created conspiracy mentalities to explain outgroup members (e.g., males) behavior towards women. From a social identity perspective, women who strongly identify with being female should be more prone to view lower justice perceptions when a male investigator denies an SH claim, but equally high levels of justice perceptions when male or female investigators confirm SH and when a female investigator denies SH. Four scenarios were created where female participants (N = 283) were randomly assigned to one of four scenarios: Scenario 1 involved a female investigator who confirmed an SH claim; Scenario 2 involved a female investigator who denied an SH claim; Scenario 3 involved a male investigator who confirmed an SH claim; and Scenario 4 involved a male investigator who denied an SH claim. Regression analyses revealed that social identity (i.e., gender identity) had no predictive value regarding justice perceptions, but that the decision of the investigators influenced justice perceptions. Furthermore, an ANOVA was utilized and discovered significant mean differences between the four scenarios, suggesting that there were differences when the investigator confirmed SH (both male and female) or denied SH (both male and female), but there was no significant interaction. Participants had low justice perceptions when SH was denied and higher justice perceptions when SH was confirmed. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed, as well as directions for future research.