Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Psychology, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Allen M. Omoto

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Michael Hogg

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Tarek Azzam

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Linda Tropp

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Deryn M. Dudley


attribution, collective action, group identity, social movement

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social Psychology


Social movements can be an effective strategy through which to influence social change. However, setbacks and failures are often a part of the social movement process. Why then, in the face of failure do social movements persist? This pair of studies tested a proposed framework that drew from social identity and attribution literature in exploring the joint effects of group identification and attribution making in predicting social movement persistence. Study 1 was an experimental design conducted with a sample of 198 students that tested the first half of the framework to assess strength of identification as a moderator on the relationship between the outcome of a collective action campaign and the locus of causality, controllability and stability of the causes attributed to the outcome. Study 2 was conducted with 191 participants in the context of a real social movement and assessed the mediating effect of locus of causality, controllability, and stability on the relationship between the outcome of a collective action campaign, and the mediating effect of expectancy for future success on the relationship between the outcome of a collective action campaign and social movement persistence. Results from these studies suggest that the success of a collective action campaign predicts social movement persistence only to the extent that expectancy for future success is high. Expectancy for future success is predicted by the extent to which the causes of the campaign outcome are internal or controllable by the social movement group. Furthermore, the degree to which social movement participants attribute the campaign to internal and controllable causes is dependent on the strength of identification with the social movement group. The discussion focuses on theoretical and practical implications of the findings for understanding social movement persistence, and particularly persistence under conditions of failure or low group performance.