Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This study explores how participants respond to news coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting based on their colorblind racial attitudes. The purpose of this study is to understand how people’s beliefs about the salience of race and racism, as well as how framing within news coverage, contributes to how people privately respond to racial events and their willingness to publicly express their views in discussions. Participants answered questions about their racial ideology, their views about the role of race in the Trayvon Martin shooting, and whether or not they were willing to express these views in a discussion after reading articles that either promotes an overtly colorblind view of the Trayvon Martin case, a race conscious view of the case, or only states the facts of the case (for the control condition). It was found that there were racial differences in how participants viewed the role of race in the Trayvon Martin shooting, even when controlling for racial ideology, and that beliefs in colorblind ideology impacted views of the Trayvon Martin case and willingness to discuss it, with participants with race conscious views that were shown an article that presented the case from a colorblind perspective reporting being less willing to discuss their views on the case compared to those shown an article that presented the case from a race conscious perspective.


First Advisor

Erica Scharrer