Members of low-status groups typically report that their group experiences more discrimination than they do personally, a phenomenon referred to as the personal/group discrimination discrepancy. It is hypothesized that manipulating the meaning of discrimination affects the personal/group discrimination discrepancy. In three studies, 301 female undergraduates (259 Whites; 42 non-Whites) from a large midwestern university read vignettes depicting discriminatory events that varied according to severity and frequency. Participants in high-frequency conditions perceived both more personal and group discrimination than low-frequency participants, and they showed smaller personal/group discrepancies. This effect was found for work-related discrimination and social sexism. Results indicate that severe and infrequent events are what people typically think of as discrimination and that using the term “discrimination” affects personal and group judgments. The importance of defining discrimination when investigating the personal/group discrimination discrepancy is discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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