Date of Award

Spring 5-2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses



First Advisor

Dr. Reginald Rackley

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


The study investigated whether exposure to an African/Black psychology course (African history, culture, and philosophy) has an effect on 60 African American (40 females, 20 males) at Southern University and A&M College usage of the "n" word. The "n" word is defined as "nigger" or any variation of the word. Past terms associated with it are "lazy", "no-good", "dumb", "violent", etc. in reference to persons of African descent. Past research has shown that African American young adults use this word more frequently if they are uneducated of the history of people of African descent. Therefore, the African/Black psychology course is geared toward increasing the level of awareness of African culture. Awareness of African culture is associated with the psychological concept of African self-consciousness, "a strong sense of collective African identity which may include a pursuit of self-knowledge, value in African centered institution building, cultural practice, and resistance to Anti-Africaness." Another psychological concept, Cultural Misorientation is "a behavior pattern in African people in which they try to think, act and feel like persons of European descent including accepting images, beliefs, and values of this race in America. Prior to the start of instruction, the students completed a battery of Afrocentric assessment measures. The participants matriculated through the course and completed the battery again. The results (post) were compared to the earlier results (pre) from the completed battery. The research resulted in an analysis of variance (ANOV A) of significant difference of p=. 000 for individuals objecting to use of the "n" word if they had higher ASC levels. An ANOVA also showed significant main effect differences for individuals with low post cm levels p=.017 objecting to the use of the «n'' word more than those with high post CM levels.

Included in

Psychology Commons