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The Role of Psychological Standing and Trustworthiness In Prospective Allies’ Willingness To Engage In Allyship Behavior
A prominent barrier that prevents prospective allies from engaging in pro-diversity behaviors is allies’ concern about their psychological standing. That is, allies worry if they have the legitimacy to speak up and act upon social issues that they are not personally affected by (e.g., White people speaking up about racial justice). Across three studies – an open-ended response coding study (N=254), a cross-sectional study (N=438), and an experience-sampling experiment (N=280) – we demonstrate that prospective allies indicate a low willingness to engage in allyship based on how they think their psychological standing, ability, benevolence, and integrity will be judged by others. We also find that through assuaging these concerns in a field context, prospective allies engage in more allyship behaviors. Through integrating the literature on allyship, intergroup relations, and voice, we shed light on the perspective of prospective allies and discuss ways to increase pro-diversity behavior.