Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Patrick D. Converse

Second Advisor

Vanessa A. Edkins

Third Advisor

Abram L. J. Walton

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Steelman


This research addresses the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Past research on harassment has primarily investigated the victim and the perpetrator, with limited research on bystanders in these events. However, bystanders can play an important role in the occurrence and outcomes of harassment by speaking up and intervening, particularly when the victim is too intimidated to do so. Therefore, this research examined this issue, focusing on factors influencing bystander intentions to intervene in sexual harassment incidents. Specifically, drawing from the Cognitive-Affective Processing System approach (Mischel & Shoda, 1995), this study investigated the construct of give/take/match (Grant, 2013) as a potentially important predictor of intentions to intervene and the extent to which this construct interacts with key situational factors to influence these intentions. Participants completed the study online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. These participants (a) completed a measure of give/take/match, (b) read one of six scenarios depicting sexual harassment varying in key situational details, and (c) indicated intention to intervene. Regression analyses indicated that relationships between give/take/match and intentions to intervene were mixed. In addition, take interacted with a situational factor related to authority and give interacted with a situational factor related to need in predicting intentions to intervene, signaling that there are certain situational conditions that can drive individuals to intervene. This study contributes to research relating to sexual harassment by revealing more about a potentially underutilized intervention tool, the bystander. This research can also inform organizational policy related to supporting bystander intervention.


Copyright held by author.