The Impression Formation Effect of Bragging: The Role of Participant Gender, Participant Race, and Speaker Race

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Lawrence A. Hosman

Advisor Department

Communication Studies


The purpose of this study was to assess how participant gender, participant race, and speaker race affect or interact to affect participants' perceptions of bragging between African-Americans and European-Americans. A revised version of Holtgraves and Dulin's (1994) Impression Formation Questionnaire was administered to 220 male and female undergraduate students. One hundred three were African-Americans who attended a selected southern state's 4-year predominately African-American university. One hundred seventeen were European-American who attended a selected southern state's four year predominately European-American university. The data generated through the questionnaire were examined using a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA). Wilk's Lambda was used to determine significance. The effects that yielded a significant difference were furthered analyzed using an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Post hoc analyses, using t-tests were done for statistically significant ANOVAs. Simple effects tests were used as follow-up analysis, where appropriate. The results of the study indicated overall, that a non-bragger was perceived more positively than a truthful or an untruthful bragger. In terms of the interaction effect, speaker race and participant gender interacted to affect participants' desire to be friends with African-Americans and European-Americans who brag. Also, bragging and participant gender interacted to affect participants' perception of African-Americans and European-Americans who brag as egotistical and conceited.