Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Marissa Shuffler

Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Cronin

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Rosopa


Demographic and attitudinal diversity can be powerful tools within the team and organizational contexts. However, when not addressed effectively, diversity can greatly strain interpersonal relations and has been found to lead to a number of negative consequences at the individual, team, and organizational levels (Roth, Goldberg, & Thatcher, 2017; Harrison & Klein, 2007). Though there have been attempts to effectively mitigate these negative outcomes, few have found lasting success (Kessler, 2021). However, a training for students offered at a university nested in the southeastern region of the United States offers a relatively novel approach to handling these interpersonal differences. The training, known as Community Dialogues, focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness of social issues related to social identity, marginalization, and oppression as well as developing conversational skills needed to effectively engage in dialogue with others about these issues, especially with those with whom one doesn’t agree. The purpose of this project is to explore whether Community Dialogues are an effective means of motivating people to be open to rethinking previously held attitudes and beliefs. Results shed light on for whom the training is most effective with regards to a number of important training-related outcomes including general trainee reactions, motivation to learn, perceived importance of dialogue and DEI-related topics, and engagement in belief updating.



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