This study examined three explanations forevaluations of an affirmative action universityapplicant: type of policy, the human capital model, andsocial identity. Seventy-nine (84% white, 11% black, 3% Asian, and 2% other) participants read auniversity's admissions policy that varied the type ofpolicy (quota or standard), qualifications of theapplicant (weak, strong), and group affiliation(ingroup, outgroup). Then they rated the applicant,policy, and university. Results indicated support forthe social identity perspective. The ingroup applicantwas evaluated more favorably when the affirmative action policy was perceived to be fair. But theingroup member was derogated when the affirmative actionpolicy was perceived as unfair. The perceived fairnessof the affirmative action policy seemed to have little effect on evaluations of the outgroup member.The implications of these findings arediscussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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