Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jonathan Friedel

Committee Member 1

Karen Naufel

Committee Member 2

Ellen Williams


Marginalized groups are less likely to seek out mental health services than non-marginalized groups. There are various reasons why marginalized groups, such as Black Americans, are less likely to seek out mental health services, one of which is the cultural barriers between a clinician and client. Research suggests that Black Americans feel that clinicians struggle to overcome these cultural barriers. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to actively receive training on how to serve clients with diverse backgrounds. Cultural responsiveness, an extension from cultural competence, is the active application of the knowledge and skills obtained in training. Examining people’s therapy choices can act as a means to understand the value people place on therapy preferences. Delay discounting is an important method used in decision-making research. This study used an adjusting amount procedure as the discounting task to examine the trade-offs Black Americans make to receive culturally responsive therapy. The current study used an adjusting amount procedure and hypothetical scenarios involving the likelihood of choosing culturally responsive therapy versus non-culturally responsive therapy. The results showed that participants were willing to sacrifice the effectiveness of therapy to receive culturally responsive therapy. This indicates that integrating cultural responsiveness in mental health services may increase the likelihood of marginalized groups seeking out mental health services and reduce existing cultural barriers.

Research Data and Supplementary Material