Affirmative Action | Affirmative Action | Disparate Impact

i Affirmative Action: A Review of Psychological and Behavioral Research Table of Content I. II. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 2 BACKGROUND ....................

............................................................................................... 3 A. Brief History of Legislative and Case Law...................................................................... 3 B. Equal Employment Opportunity Versus Affirmative Action ........................................... 4 C. Affirmative Action Required by EO11246 Versus Other Affirmative Action .................. 5 D. Need to Address the Controversy.................................................................................... 5 EVALUATIONS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND AAPs ............................................... 6 A. The Nature of Affirmative Action Attitudes .................................................................... 6 B. Structural Influences ....................................................................................................... 7 1. Qualifications of Selected Candidate ....................................................................... 7 2. Structure of the AAP (Weighting of Demographic Status) ....................................... 7 a. Conceptualizations ........................................................................................... 7 b. Empirical Research .......................................................................................... 8 (1) Knowledge of Affirmative Action ............................................................. 8 (2) Opinion Polls ............................................................................................ 9 (3) Experimental Research ............................................................................ 10 (4) Conclusions............................................................................................. 13 c. Possible Mediators of Effect of AAP Structure on Attitudes ........................... 13 (1) Perceived Fairness ................................................................................... 13 (a) Introduction ..................................................................................... 13 (b) Qualitative Research on Fairness Perceptions ................................... 14 (c) Research on the Relation Between Attitudes and Perceptions of Fairness............................................................................................ 14 (d) Discussion........................................................................................ 15 (2) Implications for Personal and Collective Self-interest .............................. 16 d. Conclusions .................................................................................................... 16 3. Attempts to Influence Evaluations ......................................................................... 17 a. Providing Information About AAP Details ..................................................... 17 b. Justifying the AAP ......................................................................................... 18 c. Conclusions .................................................................................................... 19 4. Identity of Target Group ........................................................................................ 20 5. Setting ................................................................................................................... 21 6. Need for Affirmative Action .................................................................................. 22 7. Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 23 C. Individual Differences Bases (Respondent Dimensions) ............................................... 23 1. Respondent Role ................................................................................................... 23 a. Decision Makers Versus Others ...................................................................... 24 b. Target Group Members Versus Non-members ................................................ 24 2. Demographic Variables ......................................................................................... 24 a. Gender and Race/Ethnicity ............................................................................. 24 b. Other Demographic Variables ........................................................................ 28

III.

ii (1) Surveys of the General Public ................................................................. 28 (2) Surveys of Specific Populations .............................................................. 29 (3) Summary................................................................................................. 29 Self-Efficacy ......................................................................................................... 29 Opinion Variables ................................................................................................. 30 a. Prejudice (Racism and Sexism) ...................................................................... 30 b. Relative Deprivation ...................................................................................... 31 (1) Relative Deprivation on Behalf of Others ................................................ 32 (2) Collective Relative Deprivation............................................................... 32 c. Political Perspective ....................................................................................... 33 Personal Experiences ............................................................................................. 33 Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 34

3. 4.

5. 6. IV.

EFFECTS OF AAP ON NON-TARGET GROUP MEMBERS' PERCEPTIONS OF TARGET GROUP MEMBERS, AND ON RELATIONS BETWEEN PARTIES ................ 35 A. Evaluations of Females ................................................................................................. 35 B. Evaluations of Blacks and Other Minorities .................................................................. 36 C. Summary ...................................................................................................................... 36 D. Effects on Relations Among Parties .............................................................................. 37 PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON TARGET GROUP MEMBERS..................................................................................... 39 A. Measures of Motivation, Interest, Commitment, and Choice ......................................... 39 B. Self-evaluations of Ability and Performance ................................................................. 40 C. Performance ................................................................................................................. 43 D. Theoretical Perspectives on Recipient Reactions to Affirmative Action ........................ 44 E. Summary ...................................................................................................................... 45 ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON TARGET GROUPS................ 46 A. Employment of Women and Minorities in Organizations .............................................. 46 B. Income Attainment ....................................................................................................... 47 C. Promotional and Occupational Status............................................................................ 47 D. Summary ...................................................................................................................... 47 ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON ORGANIZATIONS ............... 49 A. Organizational Effectiveness ........................................................................................ 49 B. Stock Prices .................................................................................................................. 49 C. Summary ...................................................................................................................... 49

V.

VI.

VII.

VIII. CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE, AND NEEDED RESEARCH ........................................................................................................................ 51 A. Conclusions .................................................................................................................. 51 B. Limitations and Needed Research ................................................................................. 51 IX. X. REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 54 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................. 63

1

Affirmative Action: A Review of Psychological and Behavioral Research

Prepared by a subcommittee of the Scientific Affairs Committee of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, October, 1996.

Committee Members:

David A. Kravitz, Rice University David A. Harrison, University of Texas at Arlington Marlene E. Turner, San Jose State University Edward L. Levine, University of South Florida Michael T. Brannick, University of South Florida Donna L. Denning, City of Los Angeles Craig J. Russell, University of Oklahoma Maureen A. Conard, HRStrategies Rabi S. Bhagat, University of Memphis

Brief History of Legislative and Case Law In reaction to the history of discrimination in the United States. With a few exceptions. religion. Its . The enforcement agency for EO11246 is the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). it applies to all federal contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract amounting to $50. To provide additional context. An important related development was the issue of Executive Order 11246 (EO11246) in 1965. We close by drawing some general conclusions. however. BACKGROUND A. by discussing the limitations of current knowledge. As with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. in that it applies only to federal government contractors and it includes the provision that employers take ³affirmative action´ to ensure nondiscriminatory treatment in hiring and on the job. We then turn to the heart of the review -research on evaluations of affirmative action and affirmative action plans (AAPs). That review follows. and distinguish affirmative action from related concepts." Title VII of the Act covered employment. a division of the Department of Labor. After that. the Scientific Affairs Committee of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology created a subcommittee to review psychological and behavioral research on affirmative action. religion. and the nine members of the subcommittee are the authors of this report. we begin with a brief review of important legislation and case law. sex. we briefly discuss the economic effects of affirmative action on target groups and on organizations. the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to afford equality of opportunity and treatment to all individuals regardless of their "race. and in 1978 it did so in the form of the Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (41 CFR 60-3). These requirements refer to the organization as a whole. The primary mission of the OFCCP is to determine if employers adequately take affirmative action. and included creation of an implementation and enforcement arm in the form of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). and by outlining some needed research. II.000 or more (41 CFR 60-7). they nonetheless carry the weight of law. A more detailed review of these matters will be provided by a second subcommittee. we review research on how the presence of an AAP affects non-target group members' perceptions of target group members. sex. and consistent with the principle of equality upon which the country is founded. and the relations between target group members and non-target group members. To provide some context. It differs from Title VII. Although Executive Orders are issued by the President without Congressional approval. The coverage of EO11246 is far-reaching. Employers are further required to prepare an affirmative action plan (AAP).2 I. This agency was empowered to issue orders to those affected by the legislation. so if just one location in a company contracts with the government all of its locations are potentially subject to this Executive Order. and national origin. or national origin. EO11246 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race. color. We then review corresponding research on the psychological and behavioral effects of affirmative action on target group members themselves. INTRODUCTION In September of 1995. and can be altered or rescinded unilaterally. color.

federal contractors are required to have AAPs for Vietnam-era veterans. . not on documentation and utilization analyses. in its "80% rule of thumb. and specific goals and timetables. Duke Power Company reflected acceptance of this fundamental change in the definition of discrimination. is the assumption that many forms of disparity will be eliminated over time if discrimination is proscribed and equal opportunity provided. If an employment practice resulted in unequal outcomes across demographic groups. equal treatment of individuals was expected to yield an equitable. Instead. sex. the Department of Labor. the employer had to demonstrate that the practice resulting in this difference is job related and a business necessity. and equal outcome. a utilization analysis. and certainly in the EEOC Guidelines of 1966. and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires government contractors to take affirmative action for qualified workers with disabilities. the employer had to demonstrate that the procedure leading to the inequality was a valid predictor of performance. religion. The Supreme Court opinion in the 1971 landmark case of Griggs v. than AAPs directed at women and ethnic minorities. focus on employment processes and good faith efforts. color. Other civil rights legislation has extended protection beyond the initial dimensions of race. 1988). not necessarily Whites or males. More recently." adverse impact exists when the selection rate of any group is less than 80% of that for the group with the highest selection rate. This re-definition of discrimination was codified under the rubric "adverse impact" in the 1978 Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. and the Department of Justice. and national origin. fair. which was intended to reverse several Supreme Court rulings of the late 1980¶s. In 1968. (Note that the comparison group is the one with the highest selection rate. and have received less empirical attention. included a stronger focus on results -. special disabled veterans. the federal Civil Service Commission. however. maintained its ultimate focus on opportunity rather than results.) To refute a charge of illegal discrimination. According to the Guidelines. an update and expansion of the original EEOC Guidelines that was jointly adopted by the EEOC. and people with disabilities. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 forbids discrimination based on age. which consists of a review of documentation (including the AAP) and on-site visits. nonetheless. These AAPs. This Act codified the statistically-defined adverse impact definition of discrimination. but. Covered organizations that refuse to take affirmative action can be denied the opportunity to serve as a federal contractor. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbids discrimination on the basis of disability. Thus. The 1971 OFCCP regulations. however. The Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 requires employers to take affirmative action to employ and advance qualified Vietnam-era veterans. the language of OFCCP regulations changed. They are less controversial. Judicial rulings have also affected the practical implications of civil rights legislation and executive orders. Arguably implicit in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and EO11246. Due to this legislation.3 mechanism to accomplish this objective is the affirmative action compliance review. the agency began requiring a written affirmative action compliance program. As the veracity of this assumption came into question. an employer's claim that the discrimination was unintentional was not an adequate defense.the mandate to increase the utilization of minorities and women at all levels and in all segments of the workforce where deficiencies existed (Sharf.

4 B. (c) establish flexible goals and timetables to eliminate deficiencies revealed by the utilization analyses (41 CFR 60-2. C. given the availability of qualified women and minorities (41 CFR 60-2.11). equal opportunity is relatively passive whereas affirmative action is more active. refers primarily to actions taken in response to EO11246.24). Chapter 60 (41 CFR 60).13). Supreme Court decisions have forbidden strong preferential treatment (hiring unqualified women and minorities rather than clearly qualified men and non-minorities) and strict quotas (Bennett-Alexander. although we provide some context by briefly discussing the legislative history and economic effects. The key requirements are that an organization must: (a) have and abide by an equal-opportunity policy (41 CFR 60-2. 1990). the regulations mention many possible methods. The primary purpose of the present review is to focus on what is known about psychological reactions to affirmative action. and especially attitudes and opinions about them. however. created by EO11246. to the forefront of public debate (Ingwerson. Equal employment opportunity is guaranteed by the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991.12). 1993). (b) perform utilization analyses to determine whether women and ethnic minorities are underutilized. The federal regulations controlling affirmative action are presented in Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations. for organizations to assign some unspecified weight to gender or race when making employment decisions (Guttman. It is permissible. in which a certain number of positions or a certain percentage of the budget is earmarked for the use of women or racial/ethnic minorities. Affirmative Action Required by EO11246 Versus Other Affirmative Action Affirmative action. (d) develop and execute "action-oriented programs designed to eliminate problems and further designed to attain established goals and objectives" (41 CFR 60-2. 1995). and ethical limits of such preferential treatment have been sources of considerably uncertainty and controversy (Glasser. The legal. Need to Address the Controversy Recent political developments have brought affirmative action programs. however. These set-aside programs are clearly distinct from affirmative action as specified by EO11246. and emphasize the elimination of bias and recruitment (41 CFR 60-2. Affirmative action. When discussing the development and execution of such action-oriented programs. 1988). and the research reviewed herein applies primarily to affirmative action as required by EO11246 and similar programs established voluntarily or imposed by Courts. Both. Thus. Except under the most extreme conditions. the concept of equal employment opportunity is that each individual should be given the same treatment as all other individuals. Both disparate treatment of individuals and disparate impact of procedures on demographic groups are considered discriminatory and illegal. as discussed here. primarily in education and construction. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) has a responsibility to review and report research results and theoretical explanations that may inform this public debate. Given the recency and impact of equal employment opportunity and . Equal Employment Opportunity Versus Affirmative Action As its name implies. have the ultimate goal of eliminating discrimination on the basis of specified demographic factors. The term "affirmative action" is also often used in reference to set-aside programs. practical. requires federal contractors to take active steps to ensure equal opportunity.13). D.

Insofar as possible. and finally turn to research on individual differences. Thus.. 1980. salary. it is only fair to set up special programs to make sure that women and minorities are given every chance to have equal opportunities in employment and education" (Jacobson. persons. Under weak preferential treatment. III. EVALUATIONS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND AAPs Much of the psychological research on affirmative action has dealt with the antecedents of attitudes toward affirmative action. one can substantially increase the likelihood of understanding. and changing attitudes toward AAPs. Kraus. Fishbein & Ajzen. respondents might be asked to agree or disagree with such statements as: "Affirmative action is a good policy" (Kravitz & Platania. What do people think affirmative action is? Do they favor it? In what form(s)? What form(s) do people find objectionable? Answers to these questions will assist legislators and organizations in their efforts to minimize the conflict associated with affirmative action. We then discuss research on structural influences. To understand research results. we categorize AAP procedures as follows. In most cases quotas would fall in this category because they require the selection of a certain number or proportion of minorities regardless of qualifications. Some researchers have obtained ratings of fairness rather than attitudes.5 affirmative action legislation. 1983. 310). and "Affirmative action programs that help Blacks and minorities to get ahead should be supported" (Kluegel & Smith. 1991. research focused on examination of basic attitudinal data is important. We first describe the ways in which researchers have measured attitudes and have presented affirmative action stimuli. Consistent with this assumption. where attitudes can be defined as "evaluative judgments about particular objects. therefore. by understanding. predicting. an unqualified minority is selected. "After years of discrimination. A. For this reason we provide an extensive review of research on attitudes toward affirmative action and AAPs. This categorization does not always match the terms used by the authors of the research being discussed. predicting. attitudes are strongly influenced by the precise manner in which the AAP is described. measures have been purely evaluative. promotion). Under strong preferential treatment. N = 31).g. merit is not measured. p. p. Some authors refer to this condition as discrimination in reverse. and changing AAP-related behaviors (Ajzen & Fishbein. The preferred minority is not said to be unqualified. Presumably. 1993. 1984. or the less qualified minority applicant is favored. The Nature of Affirmative Action Attitudes Researchers have measured attitudes in many different ways. 804). Thus. 197). decisions favor the more qualified applicant . 1975. In most studies. it is important to know how affirmative action was described to the participants. p. or any other identifiable aspects of the environment" (Baron & Graziano. 1977. we treat the fairness ratings as surrogates for attitudes except when explicitly addressing the relation between the two constructs. decision can refer to any employment decision (e. Empirical research to be discussed reveals that fairness judgments and attitudes are very closely related. with the relative weighting left unspecified. 937). decisions are based solely or primarily on demographic status. decisions are based on both merit and demographic status. As explained below. In these definitions. 1995). issues. Under preferential treatment (neither weak nor strong). p. selection. AAP administrators and personnel officers have identified supportive attitudes among managers and employees as one of the most important factors in determining an affirmative action plan's effectiveness (Hitt & Keats. For example. 1985.

6 unless qualifications are equivalent, in which case the minority applicant is favored. Under merit, decisions are said to be based solely on merit, which presumably is an indication of the individual's ability to perform well. When procedures attempt to eliminate discrimination, they include actions designed to do away with existing barriers to success. Compensatory procedures include other actions designed to help minorities (e.g., training, career guidance), but decisions are based solely on merit. Diversity procedures include efforts to increase the diversity of the workforce (e.g., through recruitment), but decisions are based solely on merit B. Structural Influences

Much of the research on affirmative action attitudes has emphasized the importance of structural features of AAPs. This research has frequently included a manipulation of some aspect of an AAP. The underlying assumption is that reactions to an AAP will depend on details of the plan, particularly on the weighting of demographic status. This research is relevant to the public debate about affirmative action because much of that debate involves disagreement about what affirmative action means (e.g., preferential treatment versus assurance of equal opportunity). After discussing this research we will turn to work on other structural factors, including the identity of the target group, the organizational setting, and the need for affirmative action. 1. Qualifications of Selected Candidate In selection situations, fairness ratings are affected by the qualifications of the selected and rejected candidates. Nacoste (1985, 1987; Nacoste & Lehman, 1987) created scenarios in which two people were competing for a fellowship, and asked respondents to play the role of the winning candidate. Fairness ratings were higher when the more qualified candidate was selected. Using a similar experimental procedure, Arthur, Doverspike, and Fuentes (1992) found that fairness ratings were higher when qualifications of the selected minority candidate were equal rather than inferior to qualifications of the rejected majority candidate. In Mann and Fasolo (1992), in contrast, the effect of qualifications on ratings of decision fairness did not quite attain traditional levels of statistical significance (p < .08). In Gilliland and Haptonstahl (1995), fairness ratings were highest when the better qualified majority candidate was selected, intermediate when the majority and minority candidates had equal qualifications (regardless of who was selected), and lowest when the poorer qualified minority candidate was selected. In Heilman, McCullough, and Gilbert (1996), fairness ratings were higher when qualifications of the selected female candidate were equal or superior to those of the rejected male candidate than when they were inferior. Singer (1990, 1992) provided more precise tests of the importance of candidate qualifications by manipulating the test scores of the selected and rejected candidates. Fairness ratings were monotonically related to the difference in scores. That is, the larger the superiority of the selected candidate, the higher the fairness rating. Contrariwise, the larger the superiority of the rejected candidate, the lower the fairness ratings. The relative impact of the difference in qualifications was largest when the difference was smallest (i.e., when qualifications of the two candidates were almost identical); the fairness rating function was steepest near the zero point. In summary, research on qualifications clearly reveals that fairness ratings increase along with the superiority of the selected over the rejected candidate. This research relates to the work on AAP structure because underqualified candidates can only be selected if demographic status is given positive weight. Thus, we now turn to research that has directly addressed the effect of AAP structure on evaluations of the affirmative action plan.

7

2.

Structure of the AAP (Weighting of Demographic Status)

a. Conceptualizations The underlying assumption of research on AAP structure is that an individual's understanding of what affirmative action entails will influence his or her attitude. This point has been made by many theorists and researchers, and recently has been developed by Barnes Nacoste (1994; Nacoste, 1994, 1995). Briefly, Nacoste argued that people have cognitive (policy) schemas that incorporate their beliefs about affirmative action. Beliefs about what constitutes a typical procedure are critically important, with beliefs about the use of universalistic and particularistic contributions playing a central role. Universalistic contributions include merit and other capacities that will influence performance. Particularistic contributions include individual attributes that may be taken into consideration but will not influence performance. Race and ethnicity are the most relevant particularistic contributions in the context of affirmative action. The individual's policy schema will strongly influence his or her reactions to affirmative action; reactions will become increasingly negative as the anticipated weighting of particularistic contributions increases. Nacoste (1994, 1995) used a combination of interdependence theory and procedural justice theory to explain reactions to affirmative action. He argued that reactions to an AAP (or to the individual's affirmative action policy schema) are based on three comparison level standards. Weighting of demographic status plays a key role in these comparisons. Observers compare the enacted procedure to: (a) the procedure that gives too much weight to group membership, (b) the set of realistic alternative procedures the observer considers to be superior, and (c) the procedure that precisely counteracts the effects of discrimination. If an individual believes that an AAP gives more weight to demographic status than is appropriate, he or she will consider the AAP to be unfair, will dislike the AAP, will not be attracted to the organization, and will stigmatize people who are selected under the AAP. Note that these reactions will be based on the individual's affirmative action policy schema. The validity of the policy schema is irrelevant; perceptions determine reactions. Other researchers have suggested that AAP structure influences attitudes because it has implications for personal and collective self-interest (e.g., Kravitz, 1995; Veilleux & Tougas, 1989). That is, the greater the weighting of demographic status, the more the procedure will help individuals in that demographic group and hurt individuals in other demographic groups. We discuss competitive tests of the theories elsewhere in this review. We now review the empirical research on AAP structure. Empirical Research (1) Knowledge of Affirmative Action The underlying assumption of research on AAP structure is that an individual's understanding of what affirmative action entails will influence his or her attitude. Thus, we begin with a brief review of research on knowledge of affirmative action. Goldsmith, Cordova, Dwyer, Langlois, and Crosby (1989) interviewed 62 women associated with a liberal arts college for women shortly after an announcement that the college would become an affirmative action institution. They obtained significant positive correlations between two measures of knowledge and two measures of attitude. Stout and Buffum (1993) surveyed 193 members of the Texas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Both positive and negative experiences with affirmative action were positively related to self-reported knowledge about affirmative action and to commitment to affirmative action, but knowledge did b.

8 not correlate significantly with commitment. In a study to be discussed in more detail later, Bell (1996) surveyed the attitudes of 610 participants, half of whom were full-time employees in a variety of firms. Bell reports that self-reported knowledge of the details of affirmative action policies was related to more negative attitudes. Differences in the measures of knowledge might account for the different results of these three studies; at this time no clear conclusion can be drawn about the relation between knowledge of affirmative action and attitudes. There is some evidence that the public has a poor understanding of affirmative action, and some argue that opposition to affirmative action is based in part on this misunderstanding (e.g., Crosby, 1994; Eberhardt & Fiske, 1994). Kravitz and his colleagues (Kravitz & Platania, 1992, 1993; Kravitz, Stinson, & Mello, 1994) presented their participants with 10 to 25 potential components of an AAP. Respondents in Kravitz and Platania (1992, 1993) were undergraduates; those in Kravitz et al. (1994) were community residents contacted via telephone. All three samples were multi-racial (White, Black, and Hispanic). The potential AAP components included several questions dealing with preferential treatment, compensatory actions, diversity efforts, the elimination of discrimination, and other actions. Participants evaluated each component and estimated the likelihood that it would be included in an AAP. The likelihood ratings revealed that respondents had a less than perfect understanding of what affirmative action entails. For example, although affirmative action regulations emphasize recruitment and the elimination of discrimination, these potential components received neutral likelihood ratings. Respondents also did not know which organizations are required to have AAPs. Kravitz (1994) briefly reported the results of content analyses of open-ended definitions of affirmative action provided by respondents in Kravitz and Platania (1993), Kravitz et al. (1994), and a third unpublished study that sampled employees of a firm without an AAP. He reported that approximately 40% of the respondents were completely unfamiliar with the concept of affirmative action. Many of those who claimed familiarity provided vague or inaccurate definitions. In 1989, Pace and Smith (1995) surveyed 1,075 municipal and county chief financial officers, and asked them to identify which of three statements most closely matched their understanding of federal affirmative action requirements. Almost all respondents believed the requirements involved weak preferential treatment (48.3%) or recruitment (43.8%); only a few respondents (7.8%) thought the requirements involved strong preferential treatment. A poor or undeveloped understanding might imply the possibility of attitude change in response to new information. This possibility was addressed by Fletcher and Chalmers (1991), who questioned a representative sample of Canadian citizens and decision makers about their affirmative action attitudes. This study is discussed in more detail later. For the moment, we note that more than half the citizen respondents indicated their opinions would change when given an opposing argument. Consistent with this result, Kinder and Sanders (1990) categorized their respondents as less- or more-informed about public affairs. They found that report that the manner in which affirmative action was framed generally had a larger influence on reactions to a variety of questions among the less-informed respondents than among the more-informed respondents. In summary, although theorists and others (e.g., Collison, 1992) have argued that public opposition is based in part on a poor understanding of what affirmative action entails, empirical research is limited. The studies of public beliefs have all been reported by a single researcher who obtained the data in a single geographical area, which suggests that these results need to be replicated. Other research suggests that attitudes toward affirmative action are related to knowledge about affirmative action and that people will change their support when given information inconsistent with their initial opinion. There is a clear need for more research on

In addition. opinion polls results revealed that White Americans strongly support equality and the elimination of discrimination. Reactions to compensatory actions are less clear. and from 61% to 75% among Blacks. 1989. adults (319 Blacks and 1. but an experimental confederate argued that preferential treatment was being used. Research on reactions to specific AAPs provides more information about the relation between knowledge and attitudes. Brutus and Ryan (1994) found that female undergraduates rated merit-based selection more positively than preferential treatment based on gender. In summary. and we begin by reviewing that research.S. They concluded that both Blacks and Whites support equal opportunity and affirmative action in general. and other commentators to make the point that Whites dislike affirmative action that involves quotas or preferential treatment.596 English-speaking Whites in the U. Veilleux & Tougas. Opinions were divided on the use of quotas in colleges and universities (59% agree or strongly agree) and in businesses (51% agree or strongly agree).9 public knowledge of affirmative action and how that knowledge relates to attitudes.790 Whites). They concluded that Americans strongly support equality of opportunity and the elimination of discrimination. (2) Opinion Polls Lipset and Schneider (1978) examined nearly 100 opinion polls completed between 1935 and 1977. In Hattrup (1994). Lynch and Beer (1990) cited public opinion polls. and 43% agreed that Blacks should overcome prejudice and work their way up without any special favors. It ranged from 11% to 24% among Whites. though they support equality and compensatory action.. In addition. Kluegel and Smith (1983) report data from a representative sample of 1. and oppose preferential treatment and quotas. Many studies have found that people prefer merit-based decisions to any type of preferential treatment. 266 female undergraduates evaluated merit selection more positively than strong preferential treatment based on gender. 1989) revealed a preference for the elimination of discrimination over weak preferential treatment. fairness ratings of merit . Lynch's in-depth interviews. S. 1988) and on French Canadian managers and professional men (Tougas & Veilleux. all the following studies used undergraduates as respondents.g. They reported support for affirmative action programs that "help Blacks and other minorities to get ahead. Experimental research provides more detailed information about reactions to specific AAPs. Fine (1992a. We shall turn to that research after briefly reviewing some conclusions drawn from opinion polls. Research on French Canadian women (Tougas & Veilleux. extra training for minorities). In Nacoste and Hummels (1994). 46% of Black respondents agreed that it is not the government's job to guarantee equal opportunity. In all cases. 186 undergraduates rated the fairness of a weak (equal opportunity) or strong (pressured to hire more women) AAP." with 76% agreeing or strongly agreeing. but oppose preferential treatment. Sigelman and Welch (1991) provided an analysis of many national surveys of attitudes toward affirmative action. moderately support compensatory action (e. In a third condition the experimenter stated that selection was based on merit. but a clear preference for equal opportunity. and oppose preferential treatment and the use of quotas. Support for preferential hiring and promotion of Blacks varied with question phrasing. (3) Experimental Research Most laboratory studies have been limited to two or three different types of AAPs. Ratings of these plans did not differ significantly. support was somewhat higher among Blacks than Whites. Except where otherwise noted. 1992b) analyzed opinion survey data from a 1986 national probability sample of U. and is described below. Respondents also evaluated this condition lower than merit-based selection. Two-thirds of the respondents felt that such preferential treatment for Blacks is unfair. Polls of Black Americans revealed somewhat higher support for preferential treatment.

the affirmative action conditions included a control condition (details not described). In Experiment 2. Simon and Repper (1987) found that 140 male and female undergraduates considered merit selection fairer than strong preferential treatment. the remaining 150 did not evaluate the two programs differently. 1985. fairness ratings varied with selection procedure. In three studies (Nacoste. interpretation of this effect is complicated because the fairness measure included wording identical to that used in the description of the merit condition. female undergraduates rated fairness of the selection procedure and decision more negatively when the procedure involved strong preferential treatment than when it involved preferential treatment. in the third condition no additional information was given. and knowledge about application qualifications. statistics condition (included data demonstrating women¶s underrepresentation) and a merit condition (emphasized role of merit in affirmative action selection decisions). but evaluations of preferential treatment are moderated by such factors as respondent gender. were positively related to respondent self-efficacy. This study did not include a pure merit procedure. In Experiment 1 of Heilman. and a fourth condition providing the ultimate numerical goal of the program. Pelchat. Study 2 (N = 131) included the control and merit conditions. regardless of whether they were told their scores on the pretest.10 selection (but not of strong preferential treatment). He found that 143 preferred merit selection and only 19 preferred preferential selection. Rivero and Brett (1991). a third condition describing the weighting of gender in selection decisions. The difference was not significant if the woman selected in the preferential treatment condition was more qualified and therefore would also have been selected on the basis of merit. The importance of merit is further revealed in a study of 96 male francophone managers in Canada (Joly. Tougas. Men and women responded equally positively to merit selection. In sum. and 106. Heilman et al. Analyses revealed no effects of condition on attitudes. Although condition did affect ratings of fairness. and the Procedure X Gender interaction. and Pelchat (1995) reported two similar studies of male francophone Canadian managers and professionals. in which gender was to be considered only if competing candidates had equivalent merit. respectively). 1987. evaluations of weak preferential treatment depend on how it is described. Thus. using 60 male and female undergraduates. so it was not possible to know whether emphasizing the role of merit in weak preferential treatment will increase evaluations to the level of a merit procedure alone. The effect was moderated. Several papers compared strong preferential treatment to a weaker version of preferential treatment in which the precise weighting of merit and demographic status was not specified. Heilman. The description of the procedure varied. In . Ns = 96. Crosby. these studies reveal that people generally evaluate merit selection more positively than preferential treatment. Evaluations of merit selection are almost universally positive. Singer (1996) obtained ratings of merit selection and preferential selection from 312 adult residents in New Zealand. however. In one condition the procedural description emphasized the important role of merit. The managers evaluated a weak preferential treatment procedure. self-efficacy. (1992). respondent gender. 1993). 106. by information about qualifications. in a second condition respondents were given information about the percentage of women in the workforce. respondents in the strong preferential treatment condition rated the procedure as less fair than those in the preferential treatment condition. & Tougas.. In Study 1 (N = 96) . 1987. (1996) replicated this difference in a sample of male undergraduates. In Arthur et al. but men responded more negatively than women to strong preferential treatment. Nacoste & Lehman. Joly. 36 female undergraduates evaluated merit-based selection more positively than strong preferential treatment. Evaluations were most positive when merit was emphasized.

and . but they also showed that compensatory procedures were liked less than the elimination of discrimination. proportional hiring based on the availability of qualified applicants. and the provision of employment information to the federal government. Matheson. 19 police trainees responded negatively to a "no action" program and equally positively to four AAPs. 1993. proportional hiring that ignored qualifications. a diversity plan (recruitment). 80 male and female continuing education students evaluated three possible AAPs. Results varied somewhat across the studies.. respondents favored equal opportunity. Echenberg. They confirmed opinion poll results indicating that compensatory procedures are positively evaluated. Nosworthy. were quite positive. Respondents gave less positive but still favorable evaluations to a compensatory procedure (training). training. Differential scoring of selection tests (which would result in strong preferential treatment) received negative evaluations. next for the use of additional fellowships for Blacks. Rivers. respondents negatively evaluated weak and strong preferential treatment. and Chow (1994) studied women's reactions to four AAPs that varied in the weight given to demographic status. In the research by Kravitz and his colleagues discussed above (Kravitz & Platania. and weakest for the use of lower standards for Black students than for White students. and a plan that involved proportional hiring based on the number of qualified applicants (which would result in a satisfactory utilization analysis in an OFCCP report). these studies revealed that evaluations of preferential treatment are inversely related to the weighting of demographic status. this might be due to the different populations from which the samples of respondents were drawn. 1994).11 summary. but used the loaded term ³quotas´ in the description. Finally. training. White and Hispanic undergraduates evaluated eight different AAPs targeted at Black employees in Kravitz (1995). They gave neutral evaluations to a plan that was equivalent to the proportional hiring plan. recruitment. In general. Taylor. the elimination of discrimination. Quotas received slightly negative evaluations. the targeting of organizations with histories of discrimination. and very negative evaluations to strong preferential treatment and complete discrimination. It is interesting to note that all AAPs receive negative evaluations in Studies 1 and 2 and positive evaluations in Study 3. 43 undergraduates evaluated the elimination of discrimination positively and the three versions of preferential treatment equally negatively. weaker for the use of quotas. In a series of three experiments. participants evaluated 10 to 25 potential components of an AAP and rated the likelihood that an AAP would actually include the components. Their evaluations of this quota plan were not significantly different from their evaluations of the recruitment. These results are generally consistent of those previously reported. A special training program received positive evaluations. or proportional hiring plans. Endorsement was strongest for the use of advertising. and Lindsay (1995) asked 192 non-Black Canadian undergraduates to evaluate four AAPs that could increase enrollment of Blacks at their university. Participants also reported their attitudes toward affirmative action. Kravitz et al. negative evaluations to weak preferential treatment. 60 undergraduates gave positive evaluations to the elimination of discrimination. All differences among the AAPs were statistically significant. Respondent evaluations to two plans. so the relation between beliefs and attitudes could be assessed. Lea. The lack of significant differences among the AAPs may have been due to the low statistical power due to the tiny sample size. They opposed the hiring of unqualified applicants. 1992. In Study Two. In Summers (1995). and these evaluations were lower than those of the other six plans. one of which involved the elimination of discrimination and the second of which involved the elimination of all information about race. In Study Three. In Study One.

8% Hispanic. In the second study. including AAP purposes designated by the original Executive Order (e. 7% Hispanic. As hypothesized. 78% were currently employed. They evaluated 26 of the actions listed by Konrad and Linnehan (1995a). 10% Black. 12% Hispanic. next by White women. Results revealed greater support for equal opportunity principles than affirmative action principles. 11% Black." "increase the diversity of the workforce"). In both cases. and lowest for special training to . In a related study.. AAP attitudes fit an additive function of the products of (a) the strength with which the respondents associated each salient attribute with AAPs in general. and 2% Native American backgrounds). Content analysis produced 14 features that comprised the top 90% of elicited attributes. 12% Black. evaluations. The third study paralleled the second in both procedures and results. but involved 138 male and 64 female managers (74% White. Reactions to the identity-conscious actions varied with subject group. and (b) and how positively or negatively they evaluated that attribute. Support for specific actions appeared to be highest for sp. "restrict a business's freedom to make decisions. being most liked by people of color." "operate as a quota system. 11% Asian. Attitudes were most strongly related to beliefs about the selection of unqualified applicants. "create job opportunities for minorities and women.12 all versions of preferential treatment. merit hiring rather than quotas. Bell (1996) examined the relationships among attribute-based beliefs. and 7% Other).. Attitudes were again found to be a multiplicative function of beliefs about AAPs and evaluations of those attributes." "remove discrimination") as well as other issues that reflect the current national debate (e. followed by weak preferential treatment when minorities are under-represented. Their study included multi-item scales measuring support for equal opportunity and affirmative action principles. and proportional hiring that ignored qualifications. and attitudes toward AAPs. and significantly positive for the other groups.ecial recruitment efforts. they developed a list of 54 identity-conscious actions and 63 identity-blind actions that organizations can take. The sample of undergraduate students was diverse in terms of gender (63 male and 61) and ethnicity (66% White. McLaughlin. gender (55% male) and ethnic background (60% White. likelihood ratings predicted attitudes. and Harrison (1996) reported results of three studies of attitudes toward AAPs. these firms used 37% of the identity-conscious actions and 58% of the identity-blind actions. On average. and 8% Asian backgrounds) sampled from a variety of firms and industries. Konrad and Linnehan (1995b) obtained evaluative ratings from 242 managers in four medium to large firms in the Philadelphia area. They then obtained information from 138 companies about their use of these actions.g. but did not provide frequency data for each individual action. Confirming the underlying premise of the research. A similar study was reported in Davis and West¶s (1984) survey of 403 municipal personnel administrators in 1979. Konrad and Linnehan (1995a) interviewed several HRM professionals who specialize in EEO/AA programs. Konrad and Linnehan (1995a) listed all 117 actions. The respondents (N = 610) were diverse in terms of employment (50% were students and 50% were full-time employees in various firms and industries). preferential treatment. The mean was neutral for White men. Bell. Based on these interviews. Identity-blind actions were evaluated positively. these salient attributes were used to explain AAP attitudes using Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975) theory of reasoned action. and least by White men.g. 12% Asian. In the first study they elicited salient (cognitively accessible) attributes that 129 students and managers thought were associated with AAPs. A factor analysis revealed two factors: 4 items dealt with identity-blind actions and 18 items involved identity-conscious actions. the number of actions used correlated positively with top management support for EEO/AA.

In short. and the open question about public understanding. We then turn to assessments of both perceived fairness and attitude. Groarke. many researchers have implicitly or explicitly assumed that attitudes toward affirmative action are driven by fairness judgments. opposition frequently is based on concerns about microjustice (justice for individuals) (Clayton & Tangri. Nacoste (1987) reported results consistent with his hypothesis that one reason for negative reactions to strong AAPs is that they imply the organization is not committed to fairness. 1990). There is some evidence that there is a great deal of variance in the understanding of what affirmative action entails. much of the debate about affirmative action has centered on the issue of fairness.. Crosby. Glasser. 1994). there is a need for additional research on beliefs and evaluations of specific actions that can be incorporated in EEO/AA plans. Evaluations (i. attitudes and fairness judgments) of affirmative action are strongly influenced by actual or presumed AAP structure.. Typical arguments are that affirmative action results in "reverse discrimination" (e. The following review begins by summarizing three studies that qualitatively explored the importance of fairness perceptions in peoples' understanding of affirmative action. . Although people support compensatory actions and diversity efforts. These administrators construed EEO/AA most often in terms of fairness. 1985). Consistent with this emphasis. Erlanger. (4) Conclusions There is greater support for the principle of equal opportunity than for the principle of affirmative action. and have assessed perceptions of fairness rather than attitudes per se. Given the relation between beliefs and attitudes. This research could take advantage of Konrad and Linnehan's (1995a) listing of EEO/AA actions. (1) Perceived Fairness (a) Introduction Although affirmative action is designed to ensure macrojustice (justice between groups). the next question to address is why this influence exists. they are inversely related to the weighting of demographic status in decision making..g. Possible Mediators of Effect of AAP Structure on Attitudes Given that attitudes toward AAPs are strongly influenced by details of the AAP. and that affirmative action forces organizations to "change the rules in the middle of the game" (e. Burstein. Heilman (1994) pointed out that reactions of nontarget group members will be especially negative if they believe affirmative action has caused them to be denied employment outcomes to which they were entitled.13 prepare minorities for recruitment. 1989). Edelman. and Lande (1993) interviewed 10 management personnel who handled discrimination complaints in 10 large companies. c. that affirmative action penalizes young White men who were not responsible for discrimination (e. This focus on fairness is especially meaningful because these administrators were responsible for ensuring that their organizations complied with antidiscrimination laws. We now turn to research dealing with these variables. and revealed similar effects involving attitudes and fairness judgments.e.g. Theoretical explanations have focused on two possible mediating variables -.g. they prefer to limit affirmative action to the elimination of discrimination.fairness and self-interest. This work was discussed above. Support for these four actions varied significantly with the administrator's general support for EEO versus affirmative action. primarily procedural fairness. and some have argued that this partly underlies some of the public opposition to affirmative action. rather than in legal terms. 1988. (b) Qualitative Research on Fairness Perceptions Three studies used content analyses of interview data determine how people think about the fairness of affirmative action..

Lipset & Schneider. 128 female undergraduates initially read a definition of weak preferential treatment and reported their attitudes toward it. The target group was Blacks. and number of negative cognitions. The correlation between fairness ratings and attitude was . 1978). Ozawa. The effect of the manipulation on attitudes was completely mediated by the fairness judgments. Doverspike and Alexander (1995) used attitude as a predictor of fairness ratings. who contrasted the fairness model with alternative models based on self-interest.60 in the U. Tougas. This. In Taylor-Carter. (1995) studied reactions of male francophone Canadian managers and professionals to three or four different AAPs. and reverse discrimination. This emphasis on fairness may be based on the assumption that perceptions of fairness mediate attitude formation.68).67 and . Of their statements concerning affirmative action in practice. Doverspike and Alexander (1995). along with the emphasis on procedural fairness. message.14 Ayers (1992) interviewed 13 "women of color" who she knew had been involved in affirmative action programs.g. The assumption that attitudes toward affirmative action are based on fairness perceptions was tested by Kravitz (1995). sample. and attitudes. more statements dealt with consistency than with any other justice rule. this research revealed that individuals do think about affirmative action in terms of fairness. . The distinction between affirmative action in principle and in practice is consistent with the results of numerous surveys indicating public support for the elimination of discrimination. Virtually all their statements about affirmative action in principle focused on fairness rather than unfairness. but opposition to most programs designed to attain that end (e. Kravitz and Van Epps (1995) asked respondents why they considered affirmative action to be fair and/or unfair.71. and political ideology. many of the studies on AAP structure examined its relationship with fairness judgments rather than attitudes. (1996) asked undergraduate students in the U.86. S. but not by ratings of personal or collective self-interest. Crosby et al. (c) Research on the Relation Between Attitudes and Perceptions of Fairness As mentioned above. Explanations of why affirmative action was unfair were most likely to include statements about reverse discrimination and decision making based on demographics. number of positive cognitions. we know of only four studies that have included measures of both fairness and attitude. In terms of Leventhal's (1980) justice model. and respondents were non-Black undergraduates. Taylor-Carter.. Explanations of why affirmative action was fair were most likely to include statements about equal opportunity. approximately 40% dealt with issues of unfairness. In a telephone survey of 68 community residents and a questionnaire study with 86 undergraduates. Kravitz (1995) used fairness ratings as a predictor of attitude. (1995) used both fairness and attitude as dependent variables. S. In two studies. Crosby. The manipulation of AAP influenced judgments of self-interest.56 in the Japanese sample and . however. The attitude-fairness correlation was . Ozawa et al. Crosby et al. They ended by rating the fairness of preferential treatment as initially defined. Surprisingly. racism. is consistent with the public debate on affirmative action. Regression analysis revealed that fairness ratings were related as expected to initial attitude. They then read a favorable or unfavorable message and recorded their relevant cognitions. fairness. (N = 53) and Japan (N = 65) to evaluate an AAP (minimum standards followed by quota hiring) on goodness (attitude) and fairness scales. The correlation between fairness ratings and initial attitudes was . Ratings of attitudes and fairness correlated significantly in both studies (. and Crosby (1996) and Tougas. equal opportunity. In summary. Kravitz manipulated AAP and measured the remaining variables.

Crosby et al. respondent gender. recruitment) is considered fairer than attention to status in final selection decisions. Nacoste. 1993. 1995. Selection decisions are considered fairer when candidates with higher qualifications are selected. several studies obtained interactions involving affirmative action procedure. Gilliland and Haptonstahl. Fairness judgments were most closely related to perceptions of equality when decisions did not clearly satisfy or violate equity (candidates had equal qualifications). These two studies suggest that perceptions of fairness and the importance of fairness will vary with individual differences and with the situation. reactions to specific AAPs vary as a function of respondent gender and race/ethnicity. Finally. and that attention to status at preliminary stages (e. ratings of fairness depended on whether the respondent acted as an observer (N = 222) or role-played the majority candidate (N = 112). 1995). Given the correlational nature of the observed relations. and/or respondent race (Heilman et al. . 1991. and such in-group favoritism is also likely to occur in evaluations of affirmative action.g. attitudes toward an AAP are positively related to subsequent fairness judgments of the AAP. 1995. 1987).. are sensitive to issues of procedural justice. it is impossible to determine the causal sequence. Doverspike and Arthur. (d) Discussion Qualitative research shows that individuals think of affirmative action in terms of fairness.. 1992. As will be discussed in more detail later. These interactions may have been due to the effects of self-interest. and effects of an AAP manipulation on attitudes are mediated by fairness judgments. Rasinski (1987) developed a scale to assess individual differences in the conceptualization of fairness. these studies revealed that fairness perceptions and attitudes toward affirmative action are closely related. In related research. and focus on implications for equality of opportunity and reverse discrimination. 1992. Finally. Gilliland and Haptonstahl (1995) found that fairness judgments were most closely related to perceptions of equity when equity was clearly satisfied (superior candidate is selected) or clearly violated (inferior candidate is selected). Additional qualifications are suggested by research on individual and situational determinants of attention to fairness. Tougas.15 In summary.it dealt with specific AAPs rather than with the general policy of affirmative action. In short. Research on the structure of AAPs revealed that ratings of fairness are inversely related to the weighting of demographic status. which is addressed in the following section. it is clear that fairness judgments and attitudes are closely related. Same-gender favoritism in evaluating the fairness of a promotion decision was reported by Saal and Moore (1993). Arthur et al. affirmative action studies that have dealt with fairness judgments relied almost entirely on undergraduate respondents. but this relation should be empirically tested. and some asked respondents to play an unfamiliar role. Kravitz & Van Epps.. 1995. Whereas some people endorse the principle of proportionality. It is apparent that White males respond more negatively than do other types of respondents to AAPs not based purely on merit.. Overall fairness ratings were significantly related to perceptions of need only when need was clearly violated -. Despite these qualifications.. There may also be a positive relation between attitudes and perceived fairness of affirmative action in principle. 1987. Singer (1992) obtained evidence of egocentric bias. with few exceptions (Ayers. 1985.when the equally qualified minority candidate was not selected. 1992. in all six samples this relation was assessed at the operational level -. others endorse egalitarianism. Finally. Some of these results must be qualified. Nacoste & Lehman. 1995). Several studies involved role-play scenarios (Arthur et al. Edelman et al. Doverspike & Arthur. Individuals distinguish between affirmative action in principle and in practice. There is a need for additional research on employees in organizations with AAPs.. and both are influenced by AAP structure.

They reported that the relationship between personal self-interest and attitudes was moderated by two intervening variables: collective self-interest and collective relative deprivation (to be discussed shortly). 1985) and a sample of over 450 employees in a large Canadian firm (Tougas & Beaton. people respond more positively to selection situations if the more qualified candidate is selected. Kravitz (1995) found that personal and collective self-interest partly mediated the effect of AAP structure on attitudes. but evaluations of preferential treatment are moderated by such factors . Conclusions Evaluations of affirmative action and AAPs are strongly influenced by actual or presumed AAP structure. they are inversely related to the weighting of demographic status in decision making. For example.584 Whites (Jacobson. Results showed that both simple and cooperative self-interest were significantly related to attitudes toward programs to hold a certain number of positions for qualified Blacks in colleges and in business. there was only one significant effect of personal self-interest and none of collective self-interest. The effect of AAP structure on attitudes is at least partly mediated by judgments of self-interest. when regression equations included measures of racism and fairness along with self-interest. Beaton. 1993). Tougas. Summers (1995) found that a significant gender difference in attitudes toward affirmative action in general was fully mediated by anticipated effects of affirmative action on the respondents¶ careers. Both Kravitz (1995) and Nosworthy et al. Tougas and her colleagues extended the concept of self-interest from the personal to the collective level. In summary. in a study of 133 Hispanic undergraduates. and Joly (1995) studied male students and male employees in a Canadian firm with a strong AAP targeted at women. Kluegel and Smith (1983) distinguished between simple economic self-interest and cooperative self-interest in their national survey. Three final studies addressed the question of whether the effect of AAP structure on attitudes was mediated by self-interest.16 (2) Implications for Personal and Collective Self-interest A number of studies have revealed more positive attitudes among individuals who feel their personal interests are being served by affirmative action programs than among those who feel disadvantaged or threatened. and both are less important than perceptions of fairness. Attitudes toward affirmative action are clearly affected by implications of affirmative action for the respondent's self-interest. Cooperative self-interest refers to the belief that AAPs designed to help others will indirectly help oneself. Tougas. Brown. Kravitz and Meyer (1995) found that attitudes toward AAPs targeted at Hispanics correlated significantly with rated implications for individual but not collective self-interest. Other research dealt with more complex aspects of self-interest. regardless of minority/majority status. They reported that attitudes toward the organization's AAP and affirmative action in general were related to collective self-interest. Beaton. Collective self-interest appears to be less important than personal self-interest. and Veilleux (1991) studied 197 women in a large Canadian firm. and included measures of both personal and collective self-interest. In addition. Nosworthy et al. Evaluations of merit selection are almost universally positive. where collective self-interest refers to anticipated effects on the respondent's demographic group. attitudes toward specific AAPs correlate with implications of the AAPs for the respondent's personal and collective self-interest. (1995) found that measures of personal and collective self-interest correlated strongly with attitudes toward each of four AAPs. d. However. (1995) found that attitudes were more closely related to judgments of fairness than to judgments of personal and collective self-interest. Similarly. significant correlations of attitudes toward AAPs and self-interest were obtained in a 1978 national survey of 1.

media practices. The relative emphasis on these versions is determined by sponsor activities (e. Gamson and Modigliani (1987) reviewed public discussions of affirmative action in terms of discourse theory.. of the citizens . More generally.affirmative action as a source of cultural diversity (e. administration announcements). The government decision-maker sample included 513 elected legislators.790 Whites but only 319 Blacks. they prefer to limit affirmative action to the elimination of discrimination. attitudes toward the social policy of affirmative action may be influenced by information provided to the public about affirmative action. There were four versions of the preferential treatment conceptualization. and self-efficacy. and this is likely to influence attitudes. and preferential treatment. however. Although people support targeted recruitment and training.17 as respondent race. This information could influence reactions to the program. The citizen sample included 2. After being given an argument for the opposite position (i. by the mid-1980s it had been overtaken by preferential treatment. They have considerable freedom.g. and we now turn to that work. Fine's (1992a) survey results relate to Gamson and Modigliani's (1987) analysis. 49% said they would feel differently. 483 members of the executive branch (charged mainly with enforcing the federal affirmative action laws). Since publication of this article. The difference in statistical significance may have been due to the fact that the sample included 1. in how they justify the existence of the AAP and in how much detail they describe the AAP. Providing Information About AAP Details Fletcher and Chalmers (1991) sampled attitudes of Canadian citizens and decision makers. with the most common being reverse discrimination. with fairness being more important. She found that White respondents' opposition to preferential treatment was stronger when the reason for opposition was phrased as "it discriminates against Whites" than when it was phrased as "it gives Blacks advantages they haven't earned.084 people obtained in a 1987 nationwide phone interview project using random digit dialing. Fletcher and Chalmers asked their respondents about their attitudes toward AAPs targeted at improving the number of women or the number of French-Canadians (an ethnic minority) in top government positions. Attempts to Influence Evaluations Organizations with AAPs are required by law to communicate that fact. it has received little attention in public discourse. Levi & Fried. In summary. That conclusion would follow from the preceding review of research on AAP structure. These reactions appear to be mediated by perceptions of AAP fairness and implications of the AAP for the respondent's personal and collective self-interest.g. we would argue that a fourth conceptualization of affirmative action has been added -. although delicate balance probably best represents the public's reactions to affirmative action. 3. They found that affirmative action had been conceptualized in three ways: remedial action. affirmative action is conceptualized and described in various ways. and 352 senior lawyers in the judiciary.. They found that providing Canadians with arguments contrary to their initial positions caused most of them to say they would change their positions.. While the remedial action conceptualization was most popular in early years. a.e. This neglect is probably due to the lack of a sponsor. "quotas mean not hiring the best person" or "lack of quotas means that the target group remains economically unequal"). Thomas." She reported a nonsignificant trend in the same direction among Black respondents. and cultural resonances. 1990). delicate balance. Of the citizens who initially opposed quotas. Most relevant research has dealt with provision of structural details or justification. respondents indicated whether they would change their opinion. Interestingly. gender. 1994.

b. predicted the importance of affirmative action for their lives. in the other two conditions the AAP was justified. For example. . and with research on effects of structural details on attitudes toward affirmative action. Most importantly. Mann and Fasolo (1992) obtained 87 undergraduates' reactions to concocted faculty hiring decisions in which the affirmative action justification (compensation versus cultural diversity) was manipulated. these studies indicate that attitudes toward AAPs can be changed by providing information about structural details of the AAP. 64% said they would feel differently. message polarity. Justification did not significantly affect fairness ratings of the decision or of the policy. neutral. justification. with the justification involving either compensation or enhancing cultural diversity.or anti. regression analysis revealed that fairness ratings were related as expected to initial attitude. internal analysis revealed that both types of fairness ratings were positively correlated with respondent beliefs that the college's rationale was cultural diversity. a weak argument would be that increasing the number of minority employees improves the organization's image. This is consistent with research on attitude change. This justification is consistent with the remedial action conceptualization mentioned by Gamson and Modigliani (1987). and Drout (1994) had 135 White male and 202 White female undergraduates evaluate AAP scenarios that varied in terms of the target group. Doverspike and Alexander (1995) used cognitive response theory to predict effects of pro. in a study discussed previously. respectively. A strong argument would be that only a Hispanic individual could serve as an undercover agent in a barrio.affirmative action messages and the thoughts they stimulate. According to the instrumental (cultural diversity) justification. This indicates that perceived fairness of preferential treatment (and. Similarly. Justifying the AAP Recent theory and research on justification of affirmative action has considered two justifications. In two conditions the AAP was framed in different ways but no justification was presented. There were no effects of involvement. and relates to research on the need for affirmative action. Reactions were more positive when a justification was presented (with no difference between justifications) than when no justification was presented. and rated the fairness of preferential treatment. affirmative action exists to make up for previous discrimination against members of the target group. contrary to prediction. provided positive. and Blacks toward AAPs. Negative information either strengthened or had no effect on the already positive attitudes of Asians. After reporting their attitudes toward weak preferential treatment. and setting. Expressed willingness to change was somewhat lower among the decision makers. There was a significant effect of justification. Levi and Fried (1994) point out that this latter argument also can vary in strength. number of positive thoughts. Bell (1996). Gaertner. Message polarity influenced the number of positive thoughts in the predicted direction.18 who initially supported quotas. For Whites only. This discrimination could have been societal (weak argument) or organizational (strong argument). affirmative action enhances organizational effectiveness by increasing cultural diversity within the organization. and number of negative thoughts. Hispanics. or negative pieces of information about AAPs to her 610 respondents. Taylor-Carter. the effect of information on AAP attitudes was in the hypothesized direction. On the other hand. Dietz-Uhler. but did not affect the number of negative thoughts. presumably. other affirmative action procedures) can be affected by pro.and anti-affirmative action messages on ratings of AAP fairness. Dovidio. being 39% and 43%. According to the compensation justification. Murrell. In sum. respondents read the message. internal analysis revealed that ratings were not correlated with perceptions that the college's rationale was compensation. recorded their thoughts about the message.

19 Matheson et al. in which case they were neutral. if respondents do not believe affirmative action is a legitimate remediation (which will be affected by their ideology and beliefs about past discrimination). In four studies (Bobocel & Farrell. Ratings of interactional fairness revealed a main effect of justification. 1992. Two variables were manipulated: information about scores on an ability test. and justification for the use of sex (none vs. Perceived justification. or diversity. Matheson et al. Attitudes toward merit selection were positive except when a panel of women argued for preferential treatment. Experiment 2) asked 123 White male students to read two cases. Respondents reported their attitudes toward merit selection and preferential treatment.. Attitudes toward merit selection were affected by the justification and the interaction of Justification X Panel Gender. is directly affected by affirmative action framing (organizational justification). and provided arguments to support the position. in turn. which did not differ. In Heilman et al. (1996) found a similar effect only when the male subject was told the female leader¶s score on an ability test was identical to his own. reactions to the . Perceived justification is also affected by the interactions of affirmative action framing with the other two variables. Two reactions involved strong preferential treatment which was justified in terms of reparation or the value of diversity. Heilman et al. One independent variable was level of justification: none versus compensation versus instrumental (increasing diversity). preferential treatment. and the extent to which ascribed characteristics are perceived as legitimate qualifications. Levi and Fried (1994) have developed a theoretical model in which justification (referred to as affirmative action framing) plays a central role. 1994. if respondents do not believe ascribed characteristics are legitimate qualifications (which will be affected by their ideology and perceived contributions of ascribed characteristics to the organization). This effect was entirely mediated by the perceived adequacy of the justification.g. This model merits empirical investigation. Attitudes toward preferential treatment were also affected by the justification. the None condition was evaluated more negatively than the other two conditions. being neutral when the diversity justification was used and negative otherwise. (1994) and Bobocel and Farrell (1996) found that providing a justification for affirmative action led to more positive evaluations than did providing no justification. In summary.. (1996) 162 male undergraduates performing a one-way communication task were told their female partner would be the leader because of her sex. the extent to which affirmative action is perceived as legitimate remediation. The panel argued in favor of merit selection. in press). 1996. they will respond very negatively to a compensatory framing. Cropanzano & Greenberg. and the similarity of the means suggests that this nonsignificant effect was not simply due to a lack of statistical power. Briefly. acceptance of affirmative action by non-target group members is directly affected by perceived justification of affirmative action. Specifically. both Murrell et al. Evaluation of these two AAPs did not differ significantly. post hoc tests suggested that justification affected fairness judgments only when the male subjects believed their test performance had been equal to the female¶s. Mann & Fasolo. (1994) asked 19 female police trainees to evaluate five possible reactions to discrimination (AAPs) in a police department. Murrell et al. Bobocel and Farrell (1996. 1994). Singer (1996) presented adults in New Zealand with a report on affirmative action purportedly written by a panel of male or female experts. Although the interaction was not significant. This is consistent with theory and research on procedural fairness (e. Similarly. compensation). one of which described a male police officer who had filed a lawsuit when an equally qualified woman was promoted instead of him. The preferential treatment and diversity conditions differed only in the term used to describe the procedure. they will respond very negatively to an instrumental framing.

The target was manipulated between groups. Results showed that overall attitude toward AAPs did not differ across the three target groups. the AAP structure. In an interaction of Target X . The specific justification does not strongly affect attitudes. discussed above. attitudes toward affirmative action can be changed by providing individuals with information about the AAP. but was not significant among the college graduates. In an interaction of Target X Respondent. Identity of Target Group Fletcher and Chalmers (1991). Conclusions As implied by research on AAP structure. the target effect was significant among conservatives but not liberals. Tetlock. 4. Also. In addition. Heilman et al. Analyses of the individual components of an AAP yielded a few target group differences. respondents either were or were not told that the company was trying to recruit more employees of the same type. Sniderman. internal analysis in Mann and Fasolo (1992) suggested that people who believed affirmative action to be instrumentally justified responded more positively. Both liberals and conservatives were more supportive of government intervention when women were the target group. and Kendrick (1991) surveyed 709 White adults in the San Francisco Bay area. and were most negative when the company with 25% minority employees was trying to recruit more minorities. These ratings were affected by the interaction of category type by presence/absence of recruitment. perhaps because such effects are moderated by other variables. and Levi and Fried (1994) suggests that reactions to different justifications may be moderated by other factors such as: the source of information about the AAP. They were asked how much the government should do to ensure equal opportunity for women or for Blacks and minorities. minorities. the effect of target group was observed only among the majority Canadians. (1996). Responses were most positive when the company with 40% female employees was trying to recruit more women. presumably because the former have devoted less cognitive energy to the issue. (1994). beliefs about the appropriateness of compensation. attitudes toward AAPs are more positive when the AAP is justified. and beliefs about whether diversity has any instrumental value. Respondents were less opposed to hiring someone who was unqualified when that person was handicapped rather than a minority. Singer (1996). The sample of undergraduates was diverse in terms of gender and race/ethnicity. Kravitz and Platania (1993) randomly assigned respondents to conditions in which they read descriptions of one of three different AAPs. Consistent with research on fairness. These AAPs differed only with respect to their target: women. Finally. Respondents estimated their chances of being treated fairly by the company. and the respondent's ideology. found that attitudes of both citizens and decision makers were more negative toward AAPs targeted at French Canadians than toward AAPs targeted at women. in which respondents were told that a fictitious company had either 40% women or 25% minority employees. the AAP target. Attitudes of ordinary citizens appear to be more flexible than those of government decision makers. Clayton (1992) provides a brief report of a relevant study. Piazza. On the other hand. c. Further analyses revealed that this target effect was significant among the respondents with a high school degree or less. the work of Murrell et al. however. Singer (1996) found that reactions to preferential treatment were more positive when a panel of experts had justified it in terms of diversity. the French-Canadians rated affirmative action toward women and French-Canadians equally. or the handicapped. Among respondents with some college.20 compensation and instrumental justifications did not differ.

Other portions of this review cover the constructs proposed in these hypotheses and frameworks.. Target group had no main effect on overall attitudes toward the AAP. This effect was heightened by lack of justification for the AAP. In their national survey of Whites. the target group of an AAP appears to influence AAP attitudes. gender. Setting The effect of setting on attitude toward AAPs has been investigated in several studies. asking questions about AAPs targeted at Hispanics or Blacks. both were described as programs in which a "certain number of positions would . justification. Results of several studies suggested effects of ingroup-outgroup differences or self-interest. Smith and Kluegel (1984) surveyed 1. sexual orientation. and weakest when the information concerned college major and gender. Kluegel and Smith (1983) described two affirmative action programs to all respondents. next strongest when it involved race. Eberhardt and Fiske (1994) discuss several intriguing and reasonable hypotheses that might account for the effect of target. or wheelchair-confined. and found that the public believes women suffer more from discrimination than do Blacks. In summary. Gilliland and Haptonstahl did not observe a main effect of target. major) for different purposes. The interaction of attribute by purpose was significant. Of the 60 respondents. one of which was the promotion of diversity in admissions (affirmative action). This could also play a role in the effect of target group on attitudes. though results demonstrates that it may be moderated by details of the AAP and by respondent education. Reasons for this difference are unclear. In both studies it appears that opposition the use of information for diversity purposes was strongest when the information dealt with religion and sexual orientation. One program involved college admissions and the other involved hiring employees. (1994).507 English-speaking residents of the U. an African-American. 23 were Black. discussed above. and Cook (1995). the possibility of requiring all organizations to have an AAP was seen equally negatively across targets by males. political perspective. assessed undergraduates' reactions to AAP scenarios that varied in target group. sex. Kravitz et al. Doverspike. and setting. Respondents had significantly more negative attitudes toward AAPs directed at Blacks than at either the elderly or the handicapped. Programs directed at Blacks or minorities are viewed less positively by Whites than programs directed at women or the handicapped. and research discussed above has shown that self-interest considerations influence attitudes. The target group member was a woman.S. in that AAPs described without justification and targeted at Blacks were seen more negatively than any other combination of target and justification (a significant element of a marginally significant interaction of Target X Justification). and 13 were White. 5. The respondents varied in terms of gender and race/ethnicity.21 Respondent. Clayton (in press) asked her respondents to rate the appropriateness of using information about various attributes (race. religion. but it did interact with respondent ethnicity: respondents were more positive about AAPs targeted at their own ethnic group. Gilliland and Haptonstahl (1995) asked 180 undergraduates to evaluate four scenarios that described a selection decision involving a target and non-target group member. and race/ethnicity. (1994) surveyed employed adults in the Miami area by telephone. as do Taylor-Carter. In two studies of undergraduates at different colleges (s = 71 and 119). but did find a significant three-way interaction of Respondent Race X Scenario X Target that was consistent with self-interest. but was seen as more positive by females if the target group was the handicapped rather than minorities. Murrell et al. 24 were Hispanic.

respectively) than preferential hiring and promotions in employment (61. there were no main effects or interactions involving setting.7% to 17.9%) was clearly higher than support for preferential hiring and promotions in employment (10." A reanalysis of their data reveals greater support for set-asides in education than in business. respectively) than in hiring and promotions (68% and 17%.2% and 65.8% and 82. A number of studies. private companies. differences in question phrasing (quotas in education. but despite large samples this difference was statistically significant in only three of the six relevant studies. a higher percent of Black respondents supported quotas in education (74. Unfortunately. with the former including the loaded term "quotas. they described general AAPs targeted at Blacks in employment (hiring and promotion) decisions and in college admissions decisions. In the study by Murrell et al. Using a within-subjects design. dealt with the organization's reported history of discrimination.1%. if objective need is operationalized in terms of economic indicators and utilization ratios. and 1990 National Election Study (NES) surveys. Affirmative action may receive more support in education than in employment. 6. Furthermore. respectively). There was greater support of AAPs for government positions in all subsamples. in contrast. In 1986 and 1988. These surveys included representative samples of American adults. If we assume that a history of discrimination . the questions were phrased differently.22 be set aside for Blacks and other minorities. Need for Affirmative Action No studies were found that examined relationships between objective need for affirmative action programs and affirmative action attitudes.1% to 30. Bobo and Smith (1994) summarize responses to the 1986. Fletcher and Chalmers (1991) examined organizational setting as a possible influence on attitudes toward AAPs and quotas among Canadian citizens and government decision makers. either as a main effect or in conjunction with other variables. social organization. Unfortunately. quotas versus preferential treatment). respectively). In 1990.8%) was slightly higher than support for quotas in education (73. in two of these studies the setting was confounded with the description of affirmative action (e." Kinder and Sanders (1990) manipulated organizational setting in a telephone survey using a national probability sample of voting age citizens (N = 380). Among White respondents.6%.5%). Blacks' support for preferential treatment in employment (74. Fine (1992a) analyzed opinion survey data from a 1986 national probability sample of adults in the U.g. preferential treatment in employment) make it difficult to interpret these differences. Finally. 1988.790 Whites). The researchers did a within-subject comparison of attitudes toward gender-based quotas in the Canadian federal government and in large. college. S. (1994) described above. This study included three settings: business. support for quotas in education (24. The difference was especially pronounced for the decision-maker subsamples (a Role X Setting interaction). this setting difference was confounded with a small but important difference in question wording. Questions about AAPs in the private sector used the politically charged word "quotas" while questions about AAPs in the public sector did not.. (319 Blacks and 1. Unfortunately. (1994) the social domain (education versus employment) did not affect reactions to the four AAPs.5%). There was no effect of setting on attitudes toward AAPs. More Blacks and Whites favored preferential treatment in colleges and universities (74% and 22%. in Study 1 of Matheson et al. the organizational setting of an AAP seems to have limited influence on AAP attitudes. however. In summary.

(1994) manipulated the extent of prior discrimination in two scenario studies with female undergraduate respondents. this research suggests that people may support certain kinds of affirmative action if they believe past discrimination warrants it. Other work has assessed respondents' perceptions of the need for affirmative action. most respondents being Black or Hispanic. the male would be preferred to the female. the main effect of discrimination also was not significant: Evaluations of the possible reactions (AAPs) were not affected by the level of prior discrimination. These studies included numerous dependent variables. Matheson et al. not that they lack opportunities. Nacoste (1985. . (c) when qualifications were equivalent. promotion) means given by the Whites were above the scale midpoint and means given by Blacks were below the scale midpoint. In these studies Nacoste manipulated the organization's reported history of discrimination. Minority status has negative effects via discrimination and positive effects via affirmative action. Ratings given by White faculty were significantly higher than those given by Black faculty when considering the role of minority status (all 15 dimensions) and female status (12 of 15 dimensions). This component received a neutral evaluation in the 1992 study and a positive evaluation in the 1993 study. 1990) reviewed large national surveys completed between 1972 and 1989. It follows that opposition to affirmative action could be based on the belief that discrimination does not exist. In the case of minority status.150 Whites. 1987. (1994) employed a similar procedure in a telephone survey of employed adults. undergraduates evaluated potential components of AAPs. The three levels were: (a) only males would be considered. Kravitz et al. (b) females would be considered only if no qualified males were available. Bobo and Kluegel (1993) reported the results of a national survey of 159 Blacks and 1. The authors hypothesized that respondents would prefer AAPs that precisely matched the level of prior discrimination -. In his analysis of data from a national survey of Whites. with ratings of fairness of procedure and decision being most relevant to the question of attitudes. they believe the problem is that Blacks lack motivation and skills.23 implies a need for affirmative action. this research is relevant. along with procedural and qualification variables. Kluegel (1985.an interaction between the discrimination and AAP manipulations. That is. Nacoste & Lehman. Apparently the White faculty believed the positive effects of affirmative action outweighed the negative effects of discrimination. In both studies the interaction was nonsignificant. salary. and concluded that most White Americans attribute Blacks' economic disadvantages to personal rather than structural factors. A study by Witt (1990) is relevant to this issue. 1987) asked female undergraduates to play the role of a female professor who received a grant when competing with a male professor. She asked 492 university faculty whether minority of female status constituted an advantage or disadvantage for each of 15 career dimensions. 1993). One component was that AAPs would be designed to compensate for previous discrimination. discussed above. inspection of the means is suggestive. Jacobson (1985) found that support for affirmative action was significantly related to the belief that Blacks experienced discrimination in a variety of areas. In no case were there any significant effects involving the history manipulation. They found that perceived discrimination and attributions of the Black-White gap in socio-economic status to motivational causes were two of the strongest predictors of support for policies designed to enhance the opportunities and incomes of Blacks. These respondents favored requiring organizations with histories of discrimination to target AAPs at the group (Blacks or Hispanics) that had been victimized. In Kravitz and Platania (1992. Furthermore. Although results have been mixed. For the key dimensions (initial selection. tenure. though none of the policy items referred to affirmative action per se.

and ideology. 1989). have been inconsistent. Support for affirmative action is likely to be decreased when people believe it overcompensates for discrimination. The first deals with differences between those who make decisions about or administer AAPs versus those who do not. but reported that 73% of the hirees were male and 96% were White. and this effect is mediated at least partly by implications for fairness and self-interest. This emphasis on need is consistent with court decisions. Other research has addressed the role of individual differences. Limited research suggests that respondents are somewhat more likely to support affirmative action if they believe or are told that the target group has suffered discrimination. Individual Differences Bases (Respondent Dimensions) The research described above has focused on structural aspects of the situation and of the AAP. Attitudes are more positive when the AAP is justified and when evidence indicates that affirmative action is needed. The second characterization of role deals with differences between those who are members of the target group of an AAP and those who are not. a. 7. Conclusions Attitudes toward affirmative action and AAPs are strongly influenced by structural factors. C.24 whereas the Black faculty believed the opposite. We discuss these two areas in turn. They provided no demographic data for the chairs. Survey research suggests that many White Americans believe discrimination is a problem of the past. 1. These results. which have emphasized that AAPs should be remedial (Newman. prejudice. They found no differences between the department chairs and the hirees in their support for hiring minority members or women for a faculty position if the candidate was as well qualified as a White male (50% reported positive attitudes). The implicit assumption in much of this work is that individual differences will affect a person's attitude toward affirmative action in general. does not permit strong causal conclusions. Organizational setting has little effect on evaluations. however. Reactions tend to be less positive when the target group is a racial minority. They also found no differences across the two roles in their support for hiring a lesser qualified female or minority member. This research has included the respondent's role. In sum. Details of the AAP (weighting of demographic status) appear to have the strongest effect on attitudes. demographic variables. Other research finds that Whites believe minorities profit more from affirmative action than they are hurt by discrimination. and that Blacks have themselves to blame for their economic disadvantages. like all passive observation research. there is no research on the relation between objective measures of need and attitudes toward AAPs. Respondent Role Two straightforward characterizations of a respondent's role have received some investigation. relative deprivation. Decision Makers Versus Others Noble and Winett (1978) surveyed approximately 60 department chairs and 100 hirees for faculty positions at the University of Kentucky between 1974 and 1976. A related finding based on respondent beliefs about discrimination is addressed below where we discuss research on relative deprivation. When considering this research it is important to realize that it. . and this in turn will affect the person's attitudes toward specific AAPs.

Ninety-one percent of 150 university affirmative action officers thought that some (undefined) steps needed to be taken to increase numbers of underrepresented groups. and members of the judicial branch were more negative.25 In their study of women at a liberal arts college. This trend is clear and strong for ethnicity. and 15 administrators. Citizen and decision-maker attitudes toward gender-based quotas in industry were similar. Target Group Members Versus Non-members Another characterization of role involves differences between those who are members of the target group of an AAP and those who are not. All results mentioned below are significant at the . but is somewhat less strong for gender. 15 faculty. Tickamyer. (1989) compared AAP attitudes of 15 students. Classification of respondents into target member versus non-target member simplifies interpretation of some of the two-way interactions to be discussed in the next subsection. although effect sizes varied. Seventy-four percent of the 1. Gender and Race/Ethnicity Numerous studies have examined differences in AAP attitudes associated with respondents' gender or ethnicity. Goldsmith et al.. 1989). We begin by reviewing studies that assessed only race differences. and Wood (1989) explored attitudes about the need for AAPs in university settings.900 other university administrators were positive about taking some steps. then turn to studies that assessed only gender differences. and only 22% supported specific hiring goals. they noted that Blacks were much more positive than . Law-makers were more positive than the citizenry. This effect of target-respondent match can be explained in terms of collective or personal self-interest. using either questionnaire items or coded statements from interview transcripts. Both citizens and decision makers reported they would change their opinions when given an argument contrary to their initial opinion. Few general conclusions can be drawn from this research. Many of these studies focused on other questions and have been discussed above. The researchers found no differences in AAP attitudes across the four role-based groups. Simply put. 1991). attitudes of decision makers who have thought the issue through are likely to be less flexible than attitudes of typical citizens (Fletcher & Chalmers. Citing a New York Times/CBS News survey carried out in 1977. Scollay. Members of the executive branch had intermediate attitudes.05 level. 2. Lipset and Schneider (1978) summarized some of the earliest data regarding race-based differences in attitudes toward AAPs. and 62% were positive about setting specific hiring goals. Bokemeier. Furthermore. but citizens were more likely than decision makers to state they would change. matching the level of the general population. it was not statistically significant. We begin with survey research. b. and judicial subsamples. persons are more positive toward AAPs that are targeted at their own demographic group. important differences emerged. Fletcher and Chalmers (1991) made several comparisons of AAP attitudes among Canadian citizens and government decision makers. and end with studies that dealt with both variables. When the decision-maker sample was split into legislative. executive. If a potential difference is not mentioned. It seems likely that the strongest support for affirmative action will be observed among those whose jobs involve the maintenance of AAPs (Tickamyer et al. Demographic variables a. however. 17 staff members. In these cases we limit the present discussion to results involving respondent gender or ethnicity.

(1989) found significantly more positive attitudes toward affirmative action among women than men. Goldsmith et al. These comparisons were limited to the 47 faculty. AAP structure had a larger effect among members of minority groups than among Whites. and administrator respondents because all student respondents were women. these many surveys reveal that affirmative action plans of all types receive more support from Blacks than from Whites. discussed above. In the less qualified condition. in promotions and/or hirings" were more positive among Black than White respondents. . support for preferential hiring and promotions was reported by 18% of Whites and 75% of Blacks. Minority students' affect fell between the two. Of the 175 students involved. In summary. and 49 were international students. agreement with the decision. (1992) asked volunteer respondents to play the role of a student who had been awarded a prestigious graduate fellowship. and Sherman (1983) reported a study of Maryland undergraduates' reactions to a fictitious court case involving promotion decisions. In their study of women at a liberal arts college. AAP structure had no effect on attitude of international students. Singer (1993) reported that undergraduate females were more positive than males about an AAP in which the gender ("female-ness") of the candidate was given strong weight." Sigelman and Welch (1991) also analyzed many national surveys of attitudes toward affirmative action. Bobo and Smith (1994) reviewed responses to the 1986. "requiring large companies to set up special training programs for members of minority groups. 106 were White. . support for quotas in education was reported by 31% of Whites and 74% of Blacks. Another dependent variable. They concluded that support for equal opportunity. Ozawa et al. (1996) found that women had more positive attitudes than men in response to two procedures. staff. 116 were minority group members (split evenly between Blacks and Hispanics. Attitudes toward the use of "racial quotas . could reasonably be construed as attitude toward the AAP (the AAP was the basis for the fellowship decision). In the equally qualified condition. preferential treatment." and a school "reserving a certain number of places for qualified minority applicants. 106 were Black and 69 were White. discussed above. This difference was observed in respondents' self-reported attitudes and interviewers' ratings of respondents' attitudes. In 1990. and quotas was higher among Blacks than Whites. affirmative action in general. AAPs in employment were strongly favored by 64% of the Black respondents and 6% of the White respondents.26 Whites toward four versions of affirmative action. 1988. Strong differences were also obtained in Fine's (1992a) nationwide probability survey. International students reported more positive affect in role-played responses to the scenarios than did Whites. participants read that both candidates were equally qualified for the position. Arthur et al. There was no main effect of ethnicity on agreement. Participants read that the fellowship was either awarded (a) primarily on the basis of gender. but did not differ significantly from either. and 1990 National Election Study (NES) surveys. although analyses did not differentiate the two groups). Sherman. The proportion of Blacks favoring AAPs in employment and education was more than three times the proportion of Whites favoring these programs. or (b) on the basis of gender as long as the recipients had the necessary qualifications. In a study of American and Japanese undergraduates. but there was a significant interaction of Ethnicity X Structure on this variable. In the Kinder and Sanders (1990) survey described earlier. Large race differences were also apparent in the two previous surveys. merit hiring and . The programs included hiring "a certain number of minority workers. Affirmative action plans in college admissions were strongly supported by 63% of the Black respondents and 9% of the White respondents. We turn now to research that dealt with gender differences only. Smith. participants read that the recipient of the fellowship was less qualified than the other candidate. Of the respondents." "give special consideration to minority applicants" to college or graduate school.

The women also responded more negatively to the case of gender discrimination used in the scenario. providing workforce composition data in an AAP . Black and Hispanic respondents were more positive than White respondents towards AAPs. Men and women did not differ significantly in their evaluations toward a special training program (both positive) or differential scoring of selection tests (both negative). They also rated the likely effect of affirmative action in general on their careers (self-interest). as well as two people who did not report their gender. and providing workforce composition data to the federal government (ethnicity difference). French Canadians had more positive attitudes than did majority Canadians. Females were more positive than males about the AAP. Tougas and Beaton (1993) studied AAP attitudes among 185 female and 277 male employees at a large Canadian company with a history of discrimination against women. Significant differences included: quotas (gender and ethnicity differences). Murrell et al. with the mean for Hispanics falling between those two but not differing significantly from either. Males and females did not differ in their attitudes toward AAPs that had the goal of "eliminating systematic barriers" to women.e. many studies have assessed both race and gender differences. The sample of undergraduates contained 66 females and 25 males. requiring AAPs of all organizations (gender and ethnicity differences). recruitment (ethnicity difference).. Women evaluated quotas more positively than did men. 19 were Black. Women were especially negative when the AAPs had no explicit justification (a Gender X Justification interaction). with support among Hispanics generally falling between the other two groups. In a somewhat contradictory finding. In Fletcher and Chalmers' (1991) study. Kravitz and Platania (1992) assessed attitudes towards a race-based AAP.27 quota hiring following a minimum standard. There were no interactions of respondent and target group characteristics for AAP attitude. All gender differences were due to greater support among women than among men. The gender difference appears to be moderated by AAP structure and possibly justification. Gender was not related to attitudes toward AAPs. as well as repeatedly unsuccessful attempts to increase the percentage of women in the workforce. In summary. The researchers sent a questionnaire describing the company's history and its attempts to redress discrimination to roughly 1000 employees. and 56 were White. (1994) found that women were more negative about specific AAPs than were men. weighting of demographic status (ethnicity difference). training programs (gender and ethnicity differences). and may be mediated by self-interest implications. that gave preference to women when they were of equal competence as men). training (gender and ethnicity differences). including: quotas (gender & ethnicity differences). Twelve of the respondents were Hispanic. In five studies women had more positive attitudes toward at least some AAPs. there were important gender and ethnicity differences involving evaluations of the structural components of potential AAPs. Blacks were more positive than Whites. However. Summers¶ (1995) respondents evaluated affirmative action in general and three specific AAPs. Finally. All ethnicity differences were due to greater support among Blacks than Whites. Summers found a significant gender difference in attitudes toward affirmative action in general. recruitment (gender and ethnicity differences). N = 349) found more positive attitudes toward AAPs in general among female than male undergraduates. females were more positive than males about AAPs that gave "preferential treatment" to females (i. Kravitz and Platania (1993. In one study women had more negative attitudes. weighting of race in employment decisions (ethnicity difference). using AAPs to eliminate discrimination (gender difference). results of these four studies are somewhat mixed. However. There were several gender and ethnicity differences in evaluations of the potential structural components. but did differ in their evaluations of a quota system.

There was also an effect of race. and each of these main effects was qualified by an interaction with applicant qualification. 16 other). with support among Hispanics generally being between the other two groups. therefore. and found that attitudes toward AAPs were more positive among women than among men. Males provided higher fairness ratings than did females for the scenario in which the majority candidate was selected instead of the equally-qualified minority candidate. Blacks were excluded for both methodological and substantive reasons. all gender differences were due to greater support among women than among men. with Blacks being most positive. there was a Sex X Race X Qualifications interaction: The race difference was smaller in the condition involving male respondents and equal qualifications than in the other three conditions. The scales. revealed that the significant effects of gender and race were fully mediated by the respondents¶ beliefs about affirmative action and evaluations thereof. Bell et al. however. and using AAPs to compensate groups for past discrimination (gender and ethnicity differences). can be seen as representing AAPs that either did or did not assign a weight to demographic status. and the AAP was said to involve reverse discrimination or preferential treatment. People of Color (racial minorities. Gilliland and Haptonstahl (1995) found that fairness ratings of four selection scenarios varied as a function of respondent gender and minority status. Additional analyses. However. Blacks (and People of Color) had more positive attitudes than Whites toward the identity-conscious procedures. and Whites being least positive. Kravitz et al. Blacks were less affected by the qualification manipulation than were Whites.28 to the federal government (gender difference). The applicant¶s qualifications were said to be equal or inferior to those of the other finalist. 75 non-Hispanic Whites. They found that males were more positive than females. They compared responses of White men (n = 81). Once again. Among Whites. There were no significant effects of gender or ethnicity (Hispanic versus White) on overall attitude toward AAPs. Asians and Hispanics being next most positive. Konrad and Linnehan (1995b) studied managers' attitudes toward identity-conscious and identity-blind policies that a firm might adopt. Females were more affected by the qualification manipulation than were males. White women (n = 76). Respondents rated the fairness of the procedure and decision. Nonminorities provided higher fairness ratings than did minorities for the scenario in which the more-qualified majority candidate was selected. n = 85). The 235 undergraduate respondents role-played a same-sex Black applicant who was awarded a fellowship. (1994) surveyed 60 Miami-area residents about their attitudes toward affirmative action targeted at Blacks or Hispanics. but this difference was much larger in the preferential treatment AAP than in the reverse discrimination AAP (a Race X Qualifications X AAP interaction). all ethnicity differences were due to greater support among Blacks than Whites. In a subsequent study involving 610 students and employees. These differences remained even after controlling for the type of organization from which the respondents were drawn. (1992). Bell (1996) obtained similar effects . Undergraduate respondents varied in terms of gender (47 male and 128 female) and race/ethnicity (84 Hispanic. They obtained no differences in attitudes toward identity-blind procedures. Fairness ratings varied with respondent gender and race. Finally. and African Americans (n = 50. Doverspike and Arthur (1995) explored gender and ethnicity (Black versus White) differences in a role-playing study in a data set drawn in part from Arthur et al. Blacks and Hispanics each evaluated AAPs more positively if they were targeted at their own ethnic group rather than the other group. Kravitz (1995) reported a study of respondent reactions to eight AAPs targeted at Blacks. (1996) studied 326 undergraduates and managers. a subset of People of Color). women responded more positively than men to such procedures.

and social workers in Texas (Stout & Buffum. there are also gender differences in attitudes toward AAPs. potential for having personal experience with unequal treatment (race. 1989). and research by Summers (1995) suggests that the mediator could be self-interest. self-interest (income). Cuban-Americans may have notably different attitudes than Mexican-Americans. Those gender effects are also likely to be moderated by the structural properties (details of the AAP and justification for the AAP) of the AAP being studied. and even cognitive complexity (education). women generally have more positive attitudes than men. but these effects were only partly (80%) mediated by the respondents beliefs and evaluations of those beliefs. about the size of the effects. It should also be noted that Hispanics are not a monolithic ethnic group. gender. (1995) and Bell (1996 studies.. In contrast. 1992b). and about generalizability of the effects. The research by Bell et al.g. education. Similar caveats about assuming homogeneous attitudes within those ethnic groups apply as well.29 of respondent gender and race. most studies of attitudes within specific populations have used one-way analysis of variance. . Finally. Studies of the general public have employed large-scale national opinion surveys. Clearly more work is needed on the boundary conditions and reasons for race and gender differences. b. The exception was Davis and West (1984) who used a measure of association called gamma. Attitudes of Hispanics fall somewhere between Blacks and Whites. 1993). Moreover. social status (education and income). apart from the Bell et al. demographic variables are used in an exploratory fashion or as control variables. In some cases. there are no data in the literature reviewed on the attitudes of Asian Americans or Native Americans. while studies of specific populations have been done with groups as diverse as public personnel administrators (Davis & West. and income as predictors of affirmative action attitudes. The methodology used has implications for the ability to draw conclusions about the statistical significance of effects. In studies in which respondents (especially White respondents) are asked about AAPs in general. Fine. The second dimension is the type of statistical analysis performed (multiple regression versus one-way analysis of variance). (1996) suggests that perceptions of the severity of discrimination could serve as the mediator. Studies that have assessed attitudes of the general public have used multiple regression analyses and have assessed the relative contribution of both demographic and attitudinal variables to the prediction of affirmative action attitudes. region of the country. Demographic variables have been of interest because they are thought to reflect underlying factors such as socialization (in the case of age. women tend to be more responsive to these factors than do men. Research on demographic variables can be categorized along two methodological dimensions. 1984). More commonly. Blacks clearly feel more positively about AAPs in general than do Whites. or those from Puerto Rico.. university administrators and affirmative action officers (Tickamyer et al. One dimension is the type of respondents surveyed (general public versus specific population). Once again. researchers state specific hypotheses regarding demographic variables (e. the research by Bell et al. with no specific hypotheses being stated. and city size). though the size of this difference depends on details of the AAP. suggests that the race differences are largely due to differences in beliefs about affirmative action and evaluations of those beliefs. Research by Ozawa et al. In summary. Other Demographic Variables A number of studies have included demographic variables such as age. education. men married to working women). Of greater interest is the question of why gender differences exist. suggests that the gender differences are largely due to differences in beliefs about affirmative action and evaluations of those beliefs.

The effect of respondent age was nonsignificant in all cases. Attitudes toward affirmative action were not related to income. and education. Among the administrators. Attitudes appeared most positive among college graduates and least positive among high school graduates. They presented separate analyses for each of their four attitude questions. (1989) surveyed 1. there were no significant relations between age and perceived need. regression weights of age. Respondents with higher incomes were less likely to agree that colleges and employers should set aside positions for qualified Blacks and minorities. The relation of attitudes with age was complex.] Jacobson (1984) reports results from a 1978 survey of 1.584 White respondents. Age.596 Whites.894 university administrators and 148 university affirmative action officers. For two questions. The descriptions in this paragraph are taken from Kluegel and Smith's verbal descriptions. Attitudes were related to occupation. (2) Surveys of Specific Populations Davis and West (1984) surveyed a national sample of public personnel managers during 1979. and (2) Blacks should overcome prejudice without any special favors (N = 156). age (four groups) was significantly associated with responses to all four need questions. Commitment was higher among those who identified themselves as members of a "sexual minority. was significantly associated with commitment to equal opportunity. so the directions of the effects are not entirely clear. Respondents were asked to indicate the extent of their agreement with statements that: (1) it is not the government's job to guarantee equal opportunity for Blacks and Whites (N = 313). Fine (1992b). Among the affirmative action officers.g.30 (1) Surveys of the General Public Three studies using general opinion surveys included demographic characteristics among the predictor variables. . toward affirmative action directed at Blacks and minorities. for the other two questions the relation was nonlinear. In the other two analyses. [Kluegel and Smith's verbal descriptions of the income results appear inconsistent with the regression weights. drew a sample of African-Americans from a 1986 national post-election survey." but was not associated with level of highest social work degree. but not education. They found significant effects for job position and membership classification. with the youngest managers displaying the lowest levels of commitment. significant interactions of age with employment variables such as the extent of segregation in the respondent's industry. None of her four dependent variables explicitly dealt with support for affirmative action. age. city size). selected from a 1980 opinion poll. the other two categories were those with less than a high school degree and those with some college. In two analyses there were significant regression weights of education. it is not possible to report which groups were different from one another. but two of them seem relevant. education. The survey included four questions about the need for EO/AAPs at their colleges and universities. When responses to these items were regressed on demographic and core value variables. There were. however. They measured several demographic characteristics and environmental characteristics (e. regression weights of income were significant. Kluegel and Smith (1983) assessed attitudes of 1. and income were all nonsignificant. More educated respondents were less likely to report that preferential treatment was fair and that affirmative action programs should be supported.. Neither age nor education was significantly associated with commitment to affirmative action. Stout and Buffum (1993) measured the commitment to affirmative action of 193 Texas social workers. Tickamyer et al. perceived need decreased with age. Dependent variables were commitment to affirmative action and to equal employment opportunity. Because statistical tests of mean differences were not reported.

and Bobo (1996) refer to this assumption of Black inferiority as classic racism. undergraduates were told they had been selected either on the basis of merit or on the basis of gender. are inherently superior to minorities . evolve. One problem with the concepts of modern racism particularly relevant to the present review is that opposition to affirmative action is taken as an indicant of modern racism. 1986. For example. AAP structure. Prejudice (Racism and Sexism) Fernandez (1981) defined [anti-Black] racism "as basic cultural ideologies that state that Whites . We are not aware of research involving more traditional dispositional variables. Hattrup (1994) found that fairness judgments were affected by the interaction of selection procedure and self-efficacy. Kinder. 1986). and that Whites have the power over social institutions to develop. 1976. but many other characteristics have been investigated on occasion. demographic factors other than gender and race/ethnicity contribute little or nothing to predictions of attitudes related to affirmative action. These studies show that. Self-Efficacy Two studies assessed the relations among AAP. Fairness ratings did not correlate with performance in either study. 303). spread. Given the relation between prejudice (discussed below) and dogmatism. and self-efficacy are complexly interrelated. and fairness perceptions. impose. The concept of symbolic racism has been critiqued by Sniderman and Tetlock (1986b. it is possible that research on dogmatism would yield interesting results. in the majority of cases. Some evidence (Kluegel. 1991. perceived fairness. and enforce the very myths and stereotypes that are basic to the foundation of racism" (p. Symbolic racism.31 (3) Summary Researchers have used a variety of individual characteristics in attempting to account for attitudes related to affirmative action. aversive racism is said to be a combination of racial prejudice and an egalitarian ideology (Dovidio. is said to be a combination of racial prejudice and a conservative ideology (Kinder. Research examining symbolic and aversive racism does not examine the conditions under which these values do or do not constitute a convenient racist surrogate. Fairness ratings of preferential treatment were minimally related to self-efficacy. . self-efficacy. in contrast. solely on the basis of race . In the few cases in which the effects associated with these variables reached statistical significance. 1989. Other theorists have suggested that such forms of racism have been supplanted by modern forms. Pratto. more confident respondents considered their selection fairer. In Brutus and Ryan (1994).. Fairness ratings of merit selection were positively related to respondent self-efficacy. Murrell et al. 1986a). it is meaningless to ask whether modern racism leads to opposition. In summary. In both cases. . see also Bobo & Kluegel. Gaertner & Dovidio. Sniderman et al. 1993. McConahay. virtually everyone considered it unfair. and distinguish it from anti-Black affect. . the effects were quite small and sometimes nonlinear. Sidanius. . 1990) suggests that the fundamental attribution error may augment or enhance symbolic racism. & Gaertner. 1986. Sears. Opinion Variables a. 4. . . education. Age. McConahay & Hough. and income have been studied most consistently. Sniderman & Tetlock. 3. (1994) have suggested that it is not possible to assess aversive . and some of their criticisms apply to aversive racism. 1982. nurture. Mann. as such. In addition. and with self-evaluation of performance. 1988). ratings of fairness correlated positively with self-efficacy measured before and after selection.

and that it is not safe to assume that the two dispositions will relate identically to attitudes toward affirmative action. When racial affect and justice beliefs were contrasted." or evolution of different behavioral repertoires across castes that perpetuate and reinforce caste differences. and justice beliefs in their study of reactions to AAPs in education. and blue-collar workers. individual discrimination. p. and an equal level of inconsistency in how it is operationalized. but neither approach explained independent variance in predicting reactions to the other three AAPs.861) and 2 (N approximately = 614). and that this relation increased with respondent education. the alternative approach (racial affect plus justice beliefs) explained variance beyond symbolic racism in two cases. and Pratto (1992) contrasted a symbolic racism explanation with a social dominance theory of "racial policy attitudes. Crosby et al. sexism has been neglected in the affirmative action research. it was found that attitudes toward affirmative action in general and toward the program in place were significantly related to neosexism. they were found to be approximately equivalent predictors. Sidanius et al. (1995) argued that researchers should separately measure the two components of symbolic racism -. Tougas. and found substantial evidence for social dominance as an antecedent of attitudes toward racial policy.racial affect and justice beliefs. Jacobson (1985) found that symbolic and overt racism predicted attitudes toward AAPs. Kravitz (1995) found that racism was associated with opposition to affirmative action in general and to specific AAPs. Despite this disagreement. Traditional sexism affected reactions to affirmative action only through its influence on neosexism. (1992) suggests that all social systems consist of hierarchical caste systems with various dimensions of social status and rules/influences on movement within and between castes. When endorsement of four AAPs were regressed on the three measures. Nosworthy et al. Devereux. racial affect. they included measures of symbolic racism. office workers. (1993) studied 96 male managers and professionals.. In their national survey of Whites. (1995) report the results of two studies on male francophone Canadian managers and professionals. In Studies 1 (N = 3. Anti-Black affect was not associated with opposition to affirmative action." Social dominance theory as developed by Sidanius et al. Tougas. neosexism is said to be "a manifestation of a conflict between egalitarian values and residual negative feelings toward women" (Tougas. but there is some relevant work. Using data from the national Harris opinion survey of 1978. . Kluegel and Smith (1983) found that a two-item scale of symbolic racism was associated with attitudes toward affirmative action in education and business. In summary. Similar to modern racism. In a study of 130 male Canadian students. Joly et al. 1995. In comparison to racism. In a second study of 149 male managers. Reid and Clayton (1992) warned that racism and sexism differ in many ways. (1992) analyzed data from a sample of 234 White respondents. but the reverse was not true. Close inspection of the symbolic racism and social dominance "models" indicates that they contain virtually the same antecedent variables hypothesized to operate in different causal orders. Brown et al.32 racism through self-report measures. (1995) used path analysis to demonstrate that neosexism predicted opposition to affirmative action. there is considerably disagreement about how racism should be conceptualized. These caste systems are maintained over time through institutional discrimination. research has consistently found that self-report measures of racism are positively associated with opposition to affirmative action targeted at racial minorities. Sidanius et al. Sidanius. and "behavioral asymmetry. Brown et al. (1996) found that opposition to affirmative action was associated with classical racism. 843). Thus. Justice beliefs explained variance beyond racial affect in predicting reactions to recruitment. In both cases. attitudes toward AAPs were significantly related to neosexism scores. They found that neosexism predicted opposition to affirmative action in general and a specific AAP targeted at women.

(1) Relative Deprivation on Behalf of Others Virtually all research in this area has been performed by Tougas and her colleagues in Canada. Within the affirmative action area this has been called collective relative deprivation. If one assumes that respondents value fairness and are not prejudiced. personal self-interest. this concept has been neglected in the affirmative action area. and collective self-interest in evaluations of four AAPs. Personal deprivation exists when the individual receives less than he or she desires and deserves. who have correlated relative deprivation on behalf of others with attitudes toward affirmative action. p. In-group deprivation exists when the individual's group receives less than the individual desires and believes it deserves. As discussed in the previous section on "Need for Affirmative Action. Within the affirmative action area this has been called relative deprivation on behalf of others. There is clearly a need for additional research with appropriate measures of relative deprivation on behalf of others. Nosworthy et al. In short. backlash has been ignored in the affirmative action literature. Relative Deprivation Relative deprivation is "the emotion one feels when making negatively discrepant comparisons" (Crosby. Attitudes were more closely related to self-interest than to racism. Crosby (1984) distinguishes four types of resentment individuals feel about the distribution of an outcome. He refers to this neglect as "race unconsciousness. and personal self-interest was somewhat more important than racism. b. this approach has such severe conceptual and mathematical problems that it is not possible to interpret the results with confidence. and it is discussed below. one can assume that discrepancy automatically leads to dissatisfaction. Note that the discrepancy component alone is a measure of belief that the target group experiences discrimination. Finally. and it is discussed below. prejudice (racism and sexism) is associated with opposition to AAPs targeted at the relevant group. Kravitz (1995) found that perceived fairness of AAP structure was much more important. working and middle-class White males. (1995) found that perceived fairness explained unique variance beyond measures of racism. . Building on earlier work.33 In summary. 1976. With few exceptions (Lynch & Beer. so no conclusions can be drawn from their results. backlash exists when the individual resents the fact that others have received positive outcomes. Unfortunately. Ideological deprivation exists when a group with which the individual sympathizes receives less than the individual desires and believes it deserves. Tougas and Beaton (1993) confounded the effects of relative deprivation on behalf others and collective relative deprivation (discussed below). Surprisingly. 88). there are fatal methodological problems with all research on the relation between relative deprivation on behalf of others and attitudes toward affirmative action directed at that other group. A few studies have compared the explanatory power of racism to other variables. They have operationalized relative deprivation as a function of two construct domains: perceived discrepancy between the majority-minority groups and level of satisfaction or affect generated by that discrepancy." and attributes it to social-structural factors and actions of both the political Left and the Right. Lynch (1992) argues various factors have led to a taboo against acknowledging the very negative effects that affirmative action has had on young. Tougas and Veilleux (1990) and Veilleux and Tougas (1989) used a cross-product approach to measure the concept. 1990). This research suggests that a sense of relative deprivation on behalf of the target group will correlate positively with support for affirmative action. Much of the research using measures of modern racism or sexism is flawed because the measure of prejudice is confounded with fairness considerations." some research has found this belief to be associated with support for affirmative action.

it is fairly safe to assume that the perception of a discrepancy automatically leads to dissatisfaction. Kravitz (1995) found that attitudes toward affirmative action were not related to two of these same structural beliefs: belief in equality of opportunity and belief that inequality is appropriate. These three situations have been treated as if they were equivalent. collective relative deprivation refers to the respondent's own group. and the belief that inequality of income is fair) were associated with support for policies designed to enhance the opportunities and incomes of Blacks. use of a cross-product approach to measure collective relative deprivation leads to conceptual and mathematical problems. In a structural modeling study of 90 French Canadian women. Bobo and Kluegel (1993) analyzed data from 1. whereas Tougas et al. This is. though none of the policy items referred to affirmative action per se. On the other hand. Kinder and Sanders (1990) found that the relation between stratification . and a second path from dissatisfaction to attitude toward the AAP. The difference is. In addition. measures of collective relative deprivation that rely on the discrepancy component alone should be valid.150 White respondents. When dealing with collective relative deprivation. unlike relative deprivation on behalf of others. (1991) measured the collective relative deprivation that remained after the institution of the affirmative action program. We discuss each of these approaches in turn. The latter two approaches would seem to provide measures of collective interest rather than collective relative deprivation. though not all effects were significant in all analyses and some of these main effects were qualified by interactions. and poverty is due to structural causes. Further. Research on collective relative deprivation also suffers from a second problem -. collective relative deprivation incorporates both a perception of discrepancy and a dissatisfaction with that discrepancy. consistent with self-interest. Political Perspective A few studies have attempted to assess the relation between political perspective and affirmative action attitudes. equality is just and beneficial. Support for affirmative action tended to increase with beliefs that Blacks have poor opportunities. this support seemed to be partly mediated by beliefs about the extent of anti-Black discrimination and the extent to which the racial socioeconomic gap is due to a lack of effort on the part of Blacks. Once again. (1991) used the term collective relative deprivation to refer to the anticipated effects of the affirmative action program on the group. In short. It is worth noting that this model included a path from procedure (elimination of discrimination versus preferential treatment) to attitude that had a larger path coefficient than did the path from dissatisfaction to attitude. Tougas and Veilleux (1988) provide the clearest evidence for the role of collective relative deprivation. and there is a need for research that separates the two concepts. They found that stratification beliefs (structuralism. They obtained support for a model that included a path from perceived discrepancy to dissatisfaction. individualism. The concept of political perspective has been operationalized in several ways. Tougas et al. and this considerably complicates interpretation of the research. the one study with demonstrably valid measures indicates that the perception of collective relative deprivation will increase support for an AAP targeted at the deprived group.34 (2) Collective Relative Deprivation Like relative deprivation on behalf of others. Veilleux & Tougas. 1991. Finally. c.. Kluegel and Smith (1983) examined the relation between affirmative action attitudes and political orientation conceived in terms of stratification beliefs. Thus.an inconsistency in the temporal focus of the measure. For example. In their national survey of Whites. 1989). Veilleux and Tougas (1989) measured collective relative deprivation prior to (independent of) the affirmative action program. and vitiates interpretation (Tougas et al. of course.

In summary. 1996). The key solution was a combination of minimum standards and quota hiring. . Stout & Buffum. As mentioned above. S. researchers have found that support for affirmative action is higher among self-identified liberals than conservatives (Sidanius et al. students to a case of gender discrimination and four possible solutions. with more consistent measurement of political ideology. In a related study. who could expect to suffer from discrimination in their jobs. students. and Billings (1996) suggested that inconsistent effects of ideology. 1985. Consistent with the authors¶ emphasis on collectivism. Browne. (1994) found that female police trainees. Levi. Finally. most of whom were White females. Contrary to the hypothesis. (1996) found that Black students who had experienced the most discrimination had the most positive attitudes toward affirmative action. the Japanese students evaluated this procedure more positively than did the U. Fried. the effects of ideology were smallest among those who reported having experienced the most discrimination. In a study of 93 Dutch police officers. Using two samples of employed African-American students (Ns = 59 and 76). Personal Experiences There is little research on the role of personal experiences in determining attitudes toward affirmative action. they found that attitudes were positively associated with egalitarianism (as against individualism) and previous experiences with discrimination. There is clearly a need for additional information about the relation between stratification beliefs and attitudes toward affirmative action. (1996) studied reactions of Japanese and U. this research reveals that attitudes toward affirmative action are associated with political perspective. Ozawa et al. and among Democrats than Republicans (Jacobson. the experience of discrimination seemed to overwhelm any effect of ideology.35 beliefs and attitudes toward affirmative action varied with the framing of the question and the political sophistication of the respondent. Nosworthy et al. S. Fried et al. Furthermore. evaluated possible AAPs more positively than did undergraduate women for whom discrimination was less personal. at least among Blacks. Matheson et al. however. however. Stout and Buffum (1993) studied Texas social workers. scores on the egalitarianism measure correlated significantly with attitudes toward one of the AAPs. Kravitz et al. They reported that the diversity improved the quality of their work and made it easier for them to deal with their diverse urban area. This conclusion.. There is a need for more research in this area. (1994) reported that attitudes toward affirmative action were more positive among those who had been victimized by race/ethnic-based discrimination and by those who had previously worked at an organization with an AAP directed at another demographic group. and experience with diversity (in either work group members or friends) was generally unrelated to AAP attitudes. though the strength of the relationship doubtlessly varies with the way in which political ideology is assessed. 5. They found that commitment to affirmative action was positively related to positive experiences with affirmative action and negatively related to negative experiences with affirmative action. could be due to different experiences with discrimination. within-country analyses revealed nonsignificant correlations between scores on a measure of collectivism and support for the ³affirmative action´ procedure. In addition. de Vries and Pettigrew (1994) found that majority officers responded positively to the effects of affirmative action. 1993). was based on a casual comparison of responses across a set of three studies. not on statistical analyses. Scores on the proportionality measure correlated significantly with attitudes toward two of the four AAPs. (1995) assessed adherence to two dimensions of ´justice ideology:´ proportionality and egalitarianism. Bell (1996) found that experience with discrimination was related to more positive AAP attitudes.

selection procedure) is manipulated. Negative experiences with affirmative action appear to decrease support for affirmative action. EFFECTS OF AAP ON NON-TARGET GROUP MEMBERS' PERCEPTIONS OF TARGET GROUP MEMBERS. Finally. In addition. and have presented them with hypothetical situations in which they have judged the qualifications of the target. IV. being most positive among those whose jobs involve the maintenance of AAPs. attitudes toward affirmative action seem to be positively associated with having experienced discrimination and having worked at an organization with an AAP. There is a need for additional research on how attitudes toward affirmative action and AAPs are associated with prior experiences of discrimination and prior experiences with affirmative action.36 In summary. with Hispanics falling between the other two groups. These gender effects often are moderated by the structural properties of the AAP. There is some evidence that attitudes are associated with political position.. at least if the AAP resulted in positive experiences. at least if the AAP resulted in positive experiences. and education. and are not strongly associated with demographic variables such as age. Blacks have more positive attitudes than Whites. 6. Attitudes are complexly related with self-efficacy. . AND ON RELATIONS BETWEEN PARTIES It is important to understand how female and minority employees hired under an AAP are perceived by other employees. attitudes toward affirmative action seem to be positively associated with having experienced discrimination and having worked at an organization with an AAP. Attitudes are more positive among women than among men. liberals. The gender differences may be mediated by perceptions of discrimination severity or implications for self-interest. Most of these studies have used undergraduate students as respondents. Consistent with this finding. women tend to be more responsive than men to these factors. Conclusions Attitudes toward affirmative action and AAPs are related to several individual difference variables. associated with the respondent¶s role. Consistent with the effects of self-interest. they are more positive among Democrats. They are. some attribute of the situation (e. There is also some evidence that attitudes are associated with a sense of collective relative deprivation. people are most supportive of AAPs targeted at their own demographic group. Negative perceptions could hinder the new hire's opportunities and could damage relations between the parties. Several studies have been completed in which non-target members evaluate the competence of target members. however. limited research suggests that attitudes are positively associated with a sense of relative deprivation on behalf of the target group. income. Attitudes toward race-based affirmative action are inversely related to racism and sexism. and those who reject the dominant structural ideology of opportunity. In such studies. Negative experience with affirmative action appear to decrease support for affirmative action. A few studies have employed adult respondents and correlational designs. In this section we review research that speaks to these issues. attitudes of decision makers appear to be less flexible than those of typical citizens. In addition.g.

Study 2) asked 184 White male employees of various companies to evaluate the competence of a specific female or minority co-worker. The applicants were either male or female. Ratings of competence were affected by performance information and the interaction of performance information by employee type. and Lucas (1992. Heilman. Evaluations made by female respondents in the anti-AAP condition were higher than evaluations in the other three conditions. ambiguous success (upper 50% on 2-category scale). Jacobson and Koch found that females selected on the basis of gender were blamed for poor performance of the group but were not given credit for the good performance of the group. In both experiments. Block. The company had either willingly adopted an AAP or refused to adopt an AAP. and to indicate the extent to which affirmative action was responsible for the co-worker's selection. Evaluations of Females Jacobson and Koch (1977) paired 72 male undergraduates with a female confederate who was assigned to a leadership position on the basis of sex (strong preferential treatment). (1992. Block. the woman hired in the context of the affirmative action plan was rated lower than the other two employees. or indicated failure (lower 50%). In Study 1. Studies by Heilman and her colleagues show that both males and females tend to assume that females hired under affirmative action programs are relatively less competent. Judgments of the woman's qualifications were affected by the interaction of Respondent Gender X AAP. chance. Heilman et al. In the clear success and clear failure conditions. or clear success (upper 5% on 5-category scale). when information was lacking or ambiguous. In Study 2. Heilman et al. (1996) used the communication task procedure introduced by Jacobson and Koch (1977). either were or were not associated with an AAP. female respondents assumed the female manager must be particularly competent to get promoted in a hostile company.37 A. performance information was lacking. the three types of employees obtained similar ratings. The job was said to be either highly or moderately gender-typed to be masculine. Summers (1991) asked 112 undergraduates to read materials related to promotion of a woman in a hypothetical company. They included one merit selection procedure and eight preferential selection procedures that varied in the justification provided for basing selection on sex and in the provision of information about participant scores on . Judgments of competence were inversely related to the perceived importance of affirmative action in selection. and if female. or superior performance on a test (merit). Study 1) asked 129 male and female undergraduates to review application materials of someone recently hired and to make predictions about their job performance. The same pattern of effects was observed: Ratings were lower in the affirmative action-ambiguous success condition than in the other five conditions. After performing a one-way communication task with the confederate. and Stathatos (in press) used the same affirmative action manipulation in two studies of male and female managers (Ns = 192 & 72). Summers interpreted this as an augmentation effect. Heilman. performance information was manipulated by mentioning or not mentioning that the employee had access to ongoing coaching by a senior employee. all significant effects in the analyses on competence ratings disappeared when the role of qualifications in selection was used as a covariate. Affirmative action was manipulated by placing a statement at the bottom of the applications that said either hire or hire (affirmative action hire). The results showed that women were perceived as less competent when they were associated with affirmative action than when they were not. the dyad was told they had either succeeded or failed at the task.

(1981). Analyses revealed significant effects of condition on five of the seven dependent variables. a stronger test of this effect would be provided by a larger sample. and the relative advantage of groups with and without affirmative action programs. one of whom was Black. and there was or was not an affirmative action statement. Nacoste and Fender replicated the findings of Garcia et al. In two studies (Ns = 168 and 135). Garcia. Their respondents read a scenario about a Black student who had applied for admission to a graduate program in psychology. Their 51 Canadian undergraduate respondents were given information about a little-known group that might be forced to emigrate to Canada to escape a natural disaster. Erskine. Hawn. A frequent criticism of affirmative action is that non-target group members will . 1994) replicated and extended Garcia et al.38 an ability pretest. this study represents a novel and important extension of previous work. they showed that respondents who believed Blacks were at a disadvantage in competing for slots in a graduate program were responsible for the elevated evaluation of the Black student in the no-affirmative action condition. and this effect may generalize to evaluations of the target group as a whole. but in the experimental condition they also stated that the group members would profit from affirmative action. with ratings being less positive when affirmative action was mentioned. The minority applicant was evaluated less favorably when commitment to affirmative action was emphasized than when it was not mentioned. Evaluations of the female leader were higher in the merit condition and when the subjects were told she had equal or superior test scores than when they were given no score information or were told she had inferior test scores. In both conditions the instructions stated that the group would contribute to the Canadian economy. they paired the Black employee with the weakest resume at a higher-than-chance level. that is. The applicant was either accepted or rejected. In addition to evaluating the applicant. Maio and Esses (1996) asked whether the stigmatization effect would generalize to the target group as a whole. (1981). There was some weak evidence that this stigmatization effect was larger among the respondents who initially had negative attitudes toward affirmative action. Such findings occur when affirmative action is operationalized as strong preferential treatment and when affirmative action is not defined procedurally. Nacoste and Fender (1993. Summary Majority members typically view women and minorities selected through AAPs to be less competent than those selected without affirmative action. respondents reported their beliefs about the nature of typical affirmative action programs. and Casmay (1981) had White males and female undergraduates evaluate minority applicants to graduate school in psychology. This stigmatization may be eliminated by providing clear and compelling evidence of the woman or minority member¶s competence. Evaluations of Blacks and Other Minorities Northcraft and Martin (1982) reported a study in which 32 participants were asked to match five resumes to five recent hires. In addition. B. This did not occur when there was no mention of the company's need to hire a Black. and there either was or was not an affirmative action policy statement. The previous studies dealt with reactions to individual members of the target group. the evaluations of such programs relative to available options. cited in Nacoste. when affirmative action is simply mentioned. C. When the participants were told the company needed to hire a Black to satisfy its affirmative action obligations. Due to its emphasis on stigmatization of groups rather than individuals.

and Charbonneau (1995) asked White male and female employees of a Canadian publishing company how they would respond if female or minority employees were added to their work groups. Witt (1990) asked her university faculty respondents whether they believed affirmative action: (a) perpetuates the myth of minority and female inferiority. Konrad and Linnehan (1995b) found that employee ratings of career opportunities and organizational commitment were not related to the number of affirmative action procedures employed by the company. D. Heilman et al. There is very little research of this type. on details of the AAP. Information about relative qualifications and justification for the use of sex did not moderate this effect. Agreement rates were lower among minorities. Thus. (1996) found that willingness to engage in citizenship behaviors (help the experimenter code data) was affected by selection procedure. Witt (1990) reports the results of three discriminant analyses on the job satisfaction of White male university faculty. A related question concerns the effect of affirmative action on relations between individuals and the organizations by which they are employed. Barnes Nacoste (1992) presents a model of the relations among the enacting agency. 21% agreed with the first point. that is. Among her White males. In a laboratory experiment. They found males' reactions to be negative unless (a) males believed themselves inferior to the females in task relevant ability or (b) the males thought themselves equal to the females in ability and were also given a historical rationale for the female being appointed as the leader. when target group members have low evaluation apprehension and non-target group members believe that target group members are qualified. it is interesting to ask whether people believe this stigmatization occurs. support for equal opportunity.39 stigmatize target groups members. finds that self-evaluations are strongly affected by information about the specific AAP and qualifications of the selected individual. McCullough and Gilbert (1996) investigated males' reactions to strong preferential treatment of females in a laboratory task in which a female was appointed to be the leader and the male was appointed to be a follower. These schemas will be based. target group. only 8% of the Black females agreed with each of the statements. Interactions will be strained if either group has negative reactions to the AAP. belief that some positive action is needed to hire more women and minority employees. Saunders. and (b) robs successful women and minorities of a sense of accomplishment. and non-target group. discussed below. Barnes Nacoste (1992) argues that details of the AAP will determine these reactions. Consistent with the research summarized above. Effects on Relations Among Parties Little research has addressed the effect of affirmative action programs on relations among target and non-target groups. For example. Leck. He argues that harmonious relations between target and non-target group members can only be expected when both have positive reactions to the AAP. Barnes Nacoste (1994) extends this model with his policy schema approach. Heilman. in part but not completely. and support for . being higher when selection was based on merit than when it was based on sex. as found in this research. she noted an article reporting violence during a rally protesting the layoff of White male police instead of Black and female officers with less seniority. and concludes that the effects of attitudes toward affirmative action are minimal when compared to the effects of time demand and other types of stress. and argues that relations will be determined by the parties' policy schemas. Heilman (1994) summarized anecdotal evidence of angry and hostile reactions by non-target groups. Research on self-evaluations. Their intentions were associated with resistance to integration. and 17% with the second. The effects of AAP detail and qualifications on judgments made by non-target group members merit additional attention.

. Interest. Commitment. and (c) performance. Similarly. did not observe deleterious effects of sex-based selection on measures of task motivation or interest. Black respondents reported a greater desire for an enriched job (i. Pratkanis. Measures of Motivation. working by choice as opposed to money. First. 40 Black women. Taylor (1994) examined the attitudes of 319 White women. A. This research has included three categories of outcomes: (a) measures of motivation and task interest. and Hardaway (1991) and Turner and Pratkanis (1993) found that selection on the basis of sex did not directly impair self-reported motivation for a task. Black men and women differed in their evaluations of the degree of excitement in their lives. only two differed significantly for Black men and women. however. In a mail survey reported by Graves and Powell (1994). Results of these investigations are rather inconsistent. feeling of accomplishment) when they said they worked for a firm with affirmative action than when they reported they worked for a firm without affirmative action. Chacko (1982) found that women who believed their sex was the reason for their hiring reported lower job commitment and satisfaction and greater role ambiguity and conflict than women who did not believe sex played an important role in their hiring. After discussing empirical research. In a survey of 70 women in managerial or supervisory positions in a variety of organizations. 96 of whom were White) were asked to indicate the influence of sex in general and of sex-based affirmative action in past and future selection decisions. and choice has been conducted primarily with female respondents. Turner. Results indicated that men felt their gender benefited them in selection and promotion decisions more than .40 employer rights. and intent to remain with their organizations. organizational commitment. Results showed that White women working for firms with affirmative action programs did not differ significantly from White women working for firms without such programs in their self-reports of job satisfaction. chances for advancement. Black men working for firms without affirmative action reported more positive evaluations than did Black men working for firms with affirmative action programs. (1987).e. desire for an enriched job. and Choice Research concerning the effects of selection procedures on task motivation. happiness and other measures. and to indicate their job satisfaction. life satisfaction. (b) self-evaluations of ability and performance. we review the empirical research on psychological and behavioral effects of affirmative action on target group members. In one of the few national field studies on this issue. The review is based in part on Turner and Pratkanis (1994a). Of these measures. we briefly review theoretical explanations for the reported effects. in a study combining laboratory and field samples Bell (1996) found that intentions to perform a broad set of AAP-related behaviors were strongly related to attitudes toward the AAPs. 188 MBA graduates (61 of whom were male. interest. a job that would require a greater degree of ambition. and 32 Black men who said they worked for firms that either did or did not employ affirmative action procedures. Finally. Some studies indicate that affirmative action and sex-based selection procedures decrease motivation and interest. Black women showed the opposite pattern. V. commitment. Heilman et al. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON TARGET GROUP MEMBERS In this section.

that is. affirmative action and sex-based selection do not adversely affect task choice. explicit. and job satisfaction do not appear to be reliably affected by sex-based selection or affirmative action. remained level when practices were sex neutral or favored men somewhat. When the implementation strategy provides unambiguous. Unlike the satisfaction measure. we cannot draw any general conclusions about effects of such procedures. This second finding may reflect the fact that being selected solely on the basis of sex raises doubts about one's ability. and then leveled off. like females selected on the basis of merit. Commitment. perceptions of the overall influence of sex in selection decisions. were more likely to choose the more demanding task. Second. Only females selected on the basis of sex and who were given no information about their qualifications chose the less demanding task. and focused evidence regarding qualifications. Graves and Powell (1994) found that intent to remain with an organization was generally unaffected by respondents' perceptions of the overall influence of sex in selection and promotion decisions and of sex-based affirmative action procedures. Heilman and Herlihy (1984) found that 90 male high school students expressed less interest in an occupation in which sex-based as opposed to merit criteria was used. Women felt that they benefited from sex-based affirmative action procedures more than did men. Females were more committed when they perceived that affirmative action practices were advantageous to females. For males. 28% of the employees were female versus 8%. and that recipients may attempt to avoid the stigma that is often attached to being selected on the basis of sex. Several studies have examined how selection affects task or job choice. increased as perceptions of overall influence of sex increased. 85 female students expressed less interest only when treatment on the basis of sex was given and the proportion of women in the occupation was relatively high -. however. women's reports of task motivation. Job satisfaction was affected by respondent sex. the effect on women's task choice is determined by the nature of the implementation strategy. and increased when practices offered a great advantage to men. Males did not differ in their task choice as a function of selection procedure. satisfaction was not related to the effect of sex on selection practices. For women. although there was some indication that females expressed a greater intent to remain in organizations with affirmative action procedures perceived as favorable to women. (1991) reported that women selected on the basis of sex subsequently chose a less demanding task than did women selected on the basis of merit. In a second study. Finally. Heilman et al. and perceptions of sex-based affirmative action. the type of selection procedure influenced females' task choices. . 1990) found that females' desire to remain in leadership roles was adversely affected when they were told they were selected for their positions on the basis of sex. & Kaplow. For men. women's task and job choice seem to be more consistently affected by sex-based selection: Women were more likely to choose easier versus harder tasks and to show less interest in occupations in which sex alone was used as the basis for selection. Nacoste (1987) found that women who read a scenario about a competitively awarded university research grant were less likely to report that they would apply for a job at that university when sex alone was used as the basis of the award than when both sex and qualifications were employed. Because only one study focused on race-based selection procedures. (1987. Females who were selected on the basis of sex and given positive information about their qualifications. Heilman et al. In two separate studies. satisfaction and commitment increased as discrimination against males decreased. On the other hand. Heilman.41 did women. interest. commitment increased as affirmative action practices were perceived as sex neutral or as favoring males. Three effects appear to hold when considering the relationships among selection procedure and measures of task motivation and interest. First. Lucas. sex moderated the relationship between perceptions of affirmative action and commitment. Third.

Several studies have addressed this issue. participants were told that their scores on a test purportedly measuring leadership ability indicated they were qualified to assume the leadership role. Participants were assigned to a task that was described using either masculine or feminine sex-role attributes. Most experimental studies examining this issue use a paradigm developed by Jacobson and Koch (1977). 1995. Males. Taylor..e. these results occurred despite the level of objective feedback concerning task performance.or ethnicity-based selection processes (but see articles by Arthur et. These results suggest that procedures that employ sex as the sole selection criterion and leave the issue of qualifications open can adversely affect members of the targeted group. were largely unaffected by the selection procedure. or superior performance on a test (merit). (1991) told 96 male and 96 female participants that they were selected on the basis of either merit or sex. It is important to note that the sex-based selection procedure employed in this study was ambiguous with regard to applicant qualifications (i. Moreover. (1991) reasoned that the negative consequences of this type of selection should be especially apparent when individuals are assigned to a job for which they have low expectations of success (such as when individuals face "sex-inappropriate" tasks) but should be less apparent when expectations of success are greater (such as when individuals face "sex-appropriate" tasks). Female and male participants were told they were selected for a leadership role in a one-way communication task on the basis of either merit or sex. their counseling ability. In contrast. chance. Heilman et al. see Eberhardt & Fiske. the purported selection test was not scored). the evaluations of males selected . To test these hypotheses. (1987) used a similar paradigm to examine leaders' self-perceptions. 1994. In the merit-based selection condition. and were told they either succeeded or failed. They paired male participants with a female confederate who was assigned to a leadership position on the basis of sex (strong preferential treatment). Self-evaluations of Ability and Performance The bulk of research on effects of selection procedures on recipient self-evaluations of ability and performance has also dealt with gender-based selection procedures. Turner et al. Turner et al. and their counseling performance more negatively than did meritoriously selected females. participants were told that insufficient numbers of males or females had participated in the study and that because of their respective sex they would assume the leadership role. participants were told their dyad had either succeeded (that is. As a whole. Females selected on the basis of sex evaluated their decision making ability. their decision making performance. Certainly. Nacoste. al. and that the sex-typing of the job did little to affect these responses. in contrast. Few investigations examine how ethnic minorities respond to equivalent race. the dyad was told they had either succeeded or failed at the task. 1994 for a discussion of the pitfalls of generalizing to other demographic groups). one question raised by this study is whether indications of applicant qualifications would overcome these consequences. 1992. may affect women's self-evaluations of abilities and performance. for exceptions. scored in the top quartile of all participants) or failed (scored in the bottom quartile). Doverspike & Arthur. this line of research suggests that overt (but not subtle) indications of qualifications may overcome the effects of sex-based selection. under certain conditions. Along these lines. Again. Results suggested that males and females responded differently to meritorious and sex-based selection procedures. This research suggests that affirmative action. 1994.42 B. In the gender selection condition. Results showed that females who were selected on the basis of their sex evaluated their leadership ability and their global task performance more poorly than did females who were selected on the basis of merit. After performing a one-way communication task with the confederate.

Women who read a scenario in which the grant was awarded on the basis of both sex and applicant qualifications reported more positive affective evaluations than did women who read a scenario in which the grant was awarded on the basis of sex alone. Respondents predicted their creativity scores. do not seem to mitigate the negative consequences of sex-based selection procedures.43 on the basis of sex were slightly but generally not significantly higher than those of their meritoriously selected counterparts. was not affected by selection procedure or self-efficacy. Turner et al. All participants reported more negative affective evaluations (a composite of measures of feelings of incompetence. but not among those who considered affirmative action fair. suggesting that one way to deal with threatening information is to localize the threat to a single domain and then distance or "disidentify" with that area (Steele. etc. such as assignment to a sex-role consistent positions. Nacoste (1985) asked 96 female undergraduates to read a scenario describing the selection process for a competitively awarded university research grant. Thus. This finding is consistent with models of self-esteem maintenance.. males' and females' self-evaluations of their general. the experimenter stated that selection was merit-based but an experimental confederate said it was gender-based. etc. However. (This summary variable included measures of competency. Brutus and Ryan (1994) told 84 female undergraduates they had been selected on the basis of merit or direct preferential treatment. sex-based selection impaired females' self-evaluations of specific components of performance but not overall effectiveness. selection on the basis of a procedure considered to be unfair led to lower self-efficacy. so that self-efficacy had the strongest effect when the selection procedure was ambiguous. Self-evaluation. and these predictions can be treated as ratings of self-efficacy. Several aspects of these results are worth noting. overall performance effectiveness were affected only by feedback and not by the type of selection process they experienced. scores in the top quartile) to participants selected on the basis of sex overcame the negative effects of sex-based selection on self-evaluations of overall performance effectiveness. Contrary to some previous research. Analyses of affect also revealed a significant interaction of Sex X Race X Qualifications. 1992). (1992) partially supported these results. irritation. In their partial reanalysis of these data. Doverspike and Arthur (1995) found that affect was more negative when the candidates' qualifications were unequal than when they were equal. In an ambiguous selection condition. nor did it generalize to evaluations of ability. feedback directed specifically at the performance of the individual does seem effective in overcoming some negative effects of sex-based selection procedures. however. for example.) when the recipients were less qualified than when they were equally qualified. Nacoste also selected equal numbers of male and female participants who thought affirmative action policies were fair or unfair. pleasure. subtle indications of qualifications.e. Finally. Participants' explanations for their selection varied with the interaction of procedure and a pre-manipulation measure of self-efficacy. displeasure. dissatisfaction. There was an effect of procedure on self-efficacy among those who considered affirmative action unfair. Thus. Nacoste (1989) told 97 male and female participants that they were selected for inclusion in the experiment on the basis of either merit (their score on a qualifying test) or sex (a lack of male or female participants for the study).) The previously-discussed research by Arthur et al. Based on a prior survey. relaxation. Evaluations of competence were affected by a main effect of selection policy (with race-only conditions evaluated more positively than . found that providing success feedback (i. First. this general feedback did not generalize to other more specific attributes of performance. (1991). Research on more salient indicators of qualifications reveals stronger moderating effects.

males evaluated their skill more positively than females. men were less likely to say their sex was an important factor in their selection than were women. which in turn results in self-deprecation. all participants evaluated themselves more positively when (a) their qualifications were greater and when (b) both race and qualifications were part of the procedures. participants assigned on the basis of sex either were given no information. When selected on the basis of sex alone. negative information condition. these findings were qualified by a significant four way interaction of sex. Interestingly. we now turn to research on effects of selection procedure on performance. One obvious question is whether such selection actually affects performance. Heilman et al. The nature of the implementation strategy appears to determine the characteristics of these responses (see Barnes Nacoste. or were told they did poorly and scored worse than a confederate on a qualifying test. were told they did well and scored better than a confederate. the evidence should be focused. a main effect of qualifications (equal qualifications more positively evaluated than unequal qualifications). The one exception was Black males who evaluated themselves more positively in the race only condition than in the race and qualifications condition. Crocker & Major. To combat the self-deprecation effect. qualifications. and several second order interactions. Major et al. (1990). and race. Tactics that provide no information about qualifications appear to indicate to targeted women that their qualifications are deficient. Finally. However. Because virtually all the research was limited to women's reactions to sex-based selection procedures. Finally. the evidence regarding qualifications must be unambiguous in its confirmation of the woman's competency. Thus.44 race-and-qualifications conditions). (1990) told male and female participants they were assigned to a leadership task on the basis of merit or sex. selection policy. Males' self-evaluations were less favorable only in the sex-based selection procedure. This may have been an example of the self-protective properties that can be induced by these policies (e. Feinstein. This research has revealed that sex-based selection procedures can affect self-evaluations of ability and performance. Generally. The self-evaluations of males and females did not differ when they were selected on the basis of merit and on the basis of both sex and merit. Additionally. 1990 for a procedural justice interpretation). Strategies that provide only subtle indications of competencies clearly produce poorer self-evaluations than do meritorious selection strategies.g. Taken together. (1994) also found that leaders selected on the basis of sex believed their qualifying score and ability were less important in their selection than did participants selected on the basis of merit and on the basis of sex and merit. Results showed that females selected on the basis of sex who received either no information or negative information about their scores evaluated their leadership ability and performance more poorly than did both meritoriously selected females and females selected on the basis of sex who were given positive information about their scores. Feedback was ineffective in mitigating the poorer self-evaluations associated with sex-based selection when it was not concerned with the recipient's performance on specific components of the task. somewhat in contrast to Heilman et al. In addition. and Crocker (1994) found that self-evaluations of leader skill were affected by the interaction of participant sex with selection procedure. 1989). The evidence of the woman's qualifications should be explicit. self-evaluations of leader skill were not affected directly by selection procedure. . the results of these studies provide clear evidence that selection procedures can have both deleterious and beneficial consequences for women's self-evaluations of ability and performance. we cannot yet draw conclusions about effects of race-based procedures. Major..

In contrast. Turner and Pratkanis interpreted their results as supporting a self-handicapping model of sex-based selection whereby individuals who feel uncertain about their ability allocate less effort to the task in an attempt to attribute possible failure to a lack of effort rather than a lack of ability. Nacoste (1989) told 48 male and 49 female participants that they were selected for participation in the experiment on the basis of either merit or sex. they performed better when the task required effort rather than capability. and various potential modifiers of the relationship between selection procedure and performance. Future studies on this topic are needed. Females selected on the basis of sex evaluated their performance creativity. including social psychology. No such ready-made excuse was available for participants selected on the basis of sex who were told the task required inherent capability. Self-efficacy had a stronger effect on performance when the selection procedure was ambiguous than when it was clearly merit-based.45 C. These predictive and explanatory models of recipient reactions to affirmative action draw on several disciplines. laboratory findings reveal a complicated relationship between sex-based selection procedures and individual task performance. In summary. Researchers should examine other selection strategies. females selected on the basis of sex performed more poorly when the task was described as requiring effort (a self-handicapping tactic). we review five such perspectives. Participants performed eight trials of a standard brainstorming task. There were equal numbers of male and female participants who thought affirmative action policies were fair or unfair. Performance Only three studies have experimentally investigated the effects of sex-based selection on task performance. Effects of selection procedure on performance appear to be moderated by such variables as self-efficacy and task characteristics. which may affect task performance through their influence on self-handicapping strategies. Women who were told they were selected on the basis of sex performed better when the task required capability rather than effort. self-evaluations of performance effectiveness were affected only by the selection procedures. and their performance was not deleteriously affected. In addition. and social cognition. Brutus and Ryan (1994). there is a need for research on race-based selection. D. Thus. Nacoste found no differences due to selection procedure or fairness perceptions. Female participants (N = 60) were told that they were assigned to a position on the basis of either merit or sex. organizational behavior. additional measures of task performance. . their performance quality. Theoretical Perspectives on Recipient Reactions to Affirmative Action A number of theories have been employed to interpret research findings on recipient reactions to affirmative action. discussed above. In this section. On a brainstorming task. Interestingly. and the degree of analytic judgment they demonstrated more poorly than meritoriously selected participants. found that performance varied with the interaction of selection procedure and self-efficacy. sociology. This finding replicates many of the results discussed earlier. and that successful performance on the experimental task required either effort or inherent capabilities. meritoriously selected women showed the opposite pattern. A study by Turner and Pratkanis (1993) demonstrated that performance is complexly affected by selection processes and conceptualizations of task requirements.

46 Pettigrew and Martin (1987) invoked the notion of triple jeopardy to explain recipient reactions to affirmative action.. Barnes Nacoste (1990.g. affirmative action recipients may experience uncertainty about the causes of their outcomes (such as pay or performance) because these outcomes may be attributed to affirmative action rather than to any personal characteristics or behavior (such as education. He suggested that affirmative action policies and procedures that conform to the requirements of procedural justice (e. 1991) developed a model in which affirmative action can be perceived as a form of help. Heilman and her colleagues (see Heilman. are used to overcome discrimination. Negative stereotypes. In contrast. promotes independence and self-reliance.g. unambiguous. or a combination of positive and negative consequences. These short-term consequences are predicted to translate into long-term negative consequences of learned helplessness and dependence when the recipient perceives a low level of personal control to change the situation. Similarly. more positive consequences such as attempts to alter the organizational situation or attempts to improve the recipient's situation are possible. When affirmative action provides positive self-relevant messages (i. programs that incorporate information about qualifications do not have such negative consequences. 1994) used procedural justice theories to predict reactions to affirmative action (see also Clayton and Crosby. when the recipient feels a high level of personal control. . or effort). negative evaluations of the procedure and the organization. violates important societal norms.e. low motivation to alter the situation and low degree of self-protective defensive behavior. However. Like other forms of help or assistance. They suggested that target group members (and specifically Black Americans) may be subjected to three pressures in organizational settings. 1994 for a review) suggested that sex-based selection and affirmative action policies that do not strongly incorporate candidate qualifications raise questions about applicant competency and induce negative self-evaluations. 1994b. Policies that violate procedural justice requirements induce the stigma of incompetence and engender negative recipient reactions.. coupled with a high degree of motivation to alter the situation and defensive behavior) when it is self-threatening (i. give primary weight to merit.e. positive affect. 1994) suggested that certain forms of affirmative action induce attributional ambiguity on the part of recipients. negative affect.. and provides instrumental benefits (i. assumed dissimilarities. solo status (being the sole target group member) and token status (the perception that the employee is incompetent because he or she obtained employment through affirmative action) together are predicted to contribute to such outcomes as exaggerated expectations. affirmative action engenders immediate negative outcomes (such as negative self-evaluations of ability and performance.. Turner and Pratkanis suggested that affirmative action induces positive outcomes when it is self-supportive for the recipient.. it provides explicit.. According to this perspective. Turner et al.. and rewards excellence). extreme and/or distorted evaluations. According to the model. and fails to provide instrumental benefits by removing discriminatory institutional barriers).) are more likely to produce positive recipient reactions. Major et al. 1994a. etc.e. Finally. negative consequences. 1992).. it is procedurally fair. it provides indications of future success and removes barriers to success and advancement). ability. and possibly distorted performance. conforms to important societal norms (i. those that are perceived as fair. it is likely to produce positive immediate and long term outcomes such as positive evaluations of ability and performance. According to Heilman. and focused evidence of qualifications). Turner and Pratkanis (1993. Crocker and Major (e. it can induce positive consequences.e. it provides negative self-relevant messages.

Heckman & Wolpin. Research on the issue of target group attainment has revolved around three categories of outcomes: (a) employment rates. and focused evidence of recipient qualifications.47 E. Summary This review suggests that affirmative action programs may have positive. Goldstein & Smith. Warner and Steel (1989) reviewed data from over 280 municipal police departments and concluded that departments . However. Likewise. However. research suggests a complex relationship between selection procedure and individual task performance. Beller. as with any other organizational change effort. In an analysis of EEO-1 compliance reports. Osterman (1982) concluded that women employed in industries that received greater attention from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance and had higher rates of federal purchases had lower quit rates than women not employed in these industries. Smith and Welch (1984) demonstrated a shift in Black employment from noncontractor to contractor firms during the years from 1966-1970. 1976. the consequences of the intervention depend heavily on the specific characteristics of its implementation. women and Black females were twice as likely to do so. Results for Black females and White females are less consistent in showing gains (e. it appears that the implementation strategy assumes primary importance in determining the nature of women¶s reactions to affirmative action. Women¶s task choices and self-evaluations of ability and performance can be negatively affected by sex-based selection procedures that provide no evidence of recipient qualifications. 1984a. Black male and female employment increased significantly faster in organizations that were growing and in federal contractors than in other establishments (see further Leonard. 1978. and (c) promotion rates and occupational attainment. although this was frequently limited to nonskilled occupations (e. in contrast.g. negative.g. 1978. The selection procedure does not appear to strongly affect women¶s motivation. VI. Thus. Burstein. concluded that affirmative action increased the proportion of Black males in federal contractor firms in the early 1970s. virtually none of this research has dealt with reactions of racial minorities to race-based selection procedures. 1984b. (b) income attainment. or both positive and negative consequences for recipients. Programs that provide explicit. As these other results might imply. do not appear to impair task choice or self-evaluations of performance and ability. 1984c). Heckman & Wolpin. ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON TARGET GROUPS It is also important to know whether affirmative action has improved the employment status of women and minorities. A. They also concluded that Black males were three times as likely to report they were managers or professionals in 1980 than in 1966. Leonard (1990). 1976). and there is a clear need for such research. 1976). Goldstein & Smith.. Employment of Women and Minorities in Organizations Several studies have examined how employment has varied as a function of affirmative action policies. In sum. 1976. unambiguous. few studies have been conducted on this topic. between 1974 and 1980. in a review of the economic literature. Finally..

using a sample of 138 firms in a major metropolitan area. Konrad and Linnehan also found that human resource management policies that did not take protected category status into account were not associated with any of their measures. in an analysis of male and female employment data from 1947 to 1988. or the rank of people of color. This is relevant to the present review because the first principle of affirmative action is that the organization must abide by a policy of equal opportunity. Income Attainment Examinations of income attainment by women and minorities before and after the enactment of civil rights legislation has yielded somewhat inconsistent results. 1990. Research using more focused samples also suggests some effects of affirmative action policies on employment outcomes. although this difference was sometimes dampened in times of budgetary stress. In contrast. the percentage of people of color employed by the firm. demonstrated that human resource management policies that took protected category status into account were positively associated with the percentage of people of color in the firm's management and the rank of the highest woman in the firm. demonstrated that women aged 20-54 had more stable employment from 1965-1980. Burstein (1978) suggested that salaries of non-Whites were positively affected by affirmative action legislation. In contrast. although they lost some of these gains during 1981-1988. 1989). the percentage of women in management. More recently. B. Promotional and Occupational Status Research has also examined rates of promotion and occupational status of women and minorities before and after the implementation of federally mandated equal employment opportunity programs begun in the early 1970's. firms which were subjected to compliance reviews had lower percentages of female employees and female managers than did firms which were not subjected to compliance reviews. 1992. Men showed the opposite effect. and Opotow (1992) concluded that affirmative action legislation has not contributed to widening the income gap between middle and lower class Blacks. Allen. Blacks with a high school education or less earned less than their White counterparts. Son. Leonard (1990) suggested that affirmative action increased the occupational attainment of non-White males and therefore has narrowed the wage gap between Whites and non-Whites. However. This finding was moderated by educational attainment. Crosby. Other researchers suggest that the magnitude of these latter changes may be quite limited (for reviews see Clayton & Crosby. young Black college graduates narrowed the income gap such that their income was quite similar to that of college educated Whites. C. Johnson. Model. Uri and Mixon also suggested that affirmative action programs increased women's share of projected employment while decreasing that of men. . Uri and Mixon (1991). government contractor status was positively associated with the percentage of women employed and the percentage of women in management. However.48 with a stronger commitment to hiring women had greater utilization rates of women in policing jobs. these policies were not significantly associated with the percentage of women employed by the firm. Smith and Welch (1984) reported substantial wage gains for Black men and women during 1967-1981 but suggested that most wages gains came prior to 1974. EEO programs implemented in elementary and secondary public education systems of Oregon and New York reduced discriminatory hiring practices by about half (Eberts & Stone. Further. and Leonard. Konrad and Linnehan (1995a). and Fisher (1989) found that the income gap between Blacks and Whites increased during the years between 1974 and 1981.

1989 for a review of the impact of affirmative action on women's employment). although there is some evidence of losses for those with low educational levels. in general. (1989) found that Blacks' occupational status was moderated by level of education. They lack precision and provide little information on what seems to be a crucial factor--the specific implementation strategy adopted by each firm. Black females also increased employment share in all occupations except technical. Thus. gains have been made. craft. are subject to multiple interpretations that make it difficult to infer causal relations and to rule out alternative explanations for the findings. if any. DiPrete and Soule point out that female and non-White lower-level employees did not have a greater probability for promotion than did male and White lower-level employees. A. DiPrete (1987) and DiPrete and Soule (1986) also found that EEO programs had positive effects on the promotion of non-White and female lower level employees to higher level positions in federal agencies. Finally. performance measured at the firm or aggregate level provides no information about individual responses to selection processes or the potential distribution of those responses. such as those studies measuring promotion rates before and after the implementation of EEO programs. Third. Summary Research on the impact of affirmative action on demographic group attainment indicates that. D.49 1985). ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON ORGANIZATIONS At issue in any discussion of the merits or drawbacks of affirmative action programs is the impact. The resultant sample may present an inaccurately rosy picture. influence various measures of organizational effectiveness. These measures have several drawbacks for examining specific responses of recipients. First. or lack thereof. we now turn to research on organizational performance. Two categories of organizational performance are reviewed -. such studies may be insensitive to certain variables. All three categories of group level outcomes (employment rates.measures of organizational effectiveness and measures of financial equity. In a study of manufacturing firms. and white-collar trainee (see Leonard. single-wave time series and cross-sectional designs. Son et al. individuals who are hurt by a policy may leave the organization and not be included in the study. and promotion rates and occupational attainment) show some improvement over the time period in which affirmative action has been implemented. income attainment. Blacks with high school education or less fared more poorly than their White counterparts. VII. Organizational Effectiveness Several studies have examined how affirmative action programs. although the employment rates of all Blacks did not increase over these years. For example. on organizations. they have often have used proxy measures of affirmative action such as the percentage of minorities employed or the date of the implementation of a federal program. Leonard (1984a) found that the percentage of woman and minorities in a firm (construed as a measure of . Second. Leonard (1990) reported that Black males increased their representation in skilled trades from 1974 to 1980 in federal contractor firms. College-educated Blacks fared as well or even better than their White counterparts. These field studies do have several limitations. however.

In the second area of research. Lovrich.. These results suggest that the use of affirmative action to increase minority representation may have little effect on organizational productivity in the long run.g. Steel. Wright.g. The two groups of departments were equally effective. Ferris. . 1977). Cleary's regression approach versus proportional hiring by racial group). In a study using the same procedure. or settlement was announced.50 the success of affirmative action policies) were not associated with measures of manufacturing productivity and efficiency.. decision. This discrepancy may be explained by Steffy and Ledvinka's (1989) computer simulation of the long-term effects of selecting employees according to different fairness rules (e. there is a clear need for longitudinal research and for research on the effects of specific AAPs on organizational effectiveness. this review of economic effects doubtlessly is not comprehensive. There is a need to reconcile the theoretically-based prediction of decreased performance with the empirical finding of no difference. & Rauschenberger. Hiller. Fernandez. and rise when organizations are acknowledged for excellent affirmative action efforts. Hunter. and Hood (1986) compared police departments in 65 cities that had substantially increased their percent of minority police between 1978 and 1984 to those in of 56 cities that had shown little increase. it is interesting to discover that these studies provide no evidence for a negative effect of affirmative action on firm performance. Steel and Lovrich (1987) compared performance of police departments from 1970 through 1980. and also found that firms receiving awards for exemplary affirmative action programs from the OFCCP had significant and positive excess returns (with respect to market valuation) on the ten days following the announcement. Thus. but only weakly affected by the fairness rule (selection procedure). Schmidt. the average loss to shareholders exceeded the amount the firm was required to spend to settle the case. it was found that stock prices drop when organizations are charged with violations of antidiscrimination laws. it is important to stress that. We provided this information because evaluations of affirmative action may be affected by assumptions of its economic effects. and Kroll (1995) obtained similar results. Summary The research on organizational effectiveness has been limited to cross-sectional analyses comparing organizations that probably differed in their emphasis on affirmative action. This conclusion contrasts with the prediction that increased minority hiring will be associated with decreased utility (e. there were no differences between organizations that appeared to emphasize affirmative action and those that did not. The nonsignificant effects are also inconsistent with the contention that increasing diversity will improve organizational performance (e.g. They found that utility was strongly affected by selection ratio and selection validity. B. although this dissipated over time. Moreover. Finally. 1991).. Stock Prices Hersch (1991) found that firms charged with violations of antidiscrimination laws experienced significant losses in equity value when a suit. Nonetheless. C. though of course there is more to diversity than race and gender. The found no consistent differences in performance between departments with many (N = 34) or few (N = 39) female officers. although we have included all the relevant articles of which we are aware. as demonstrated by the research summarized in this section.

income. Attitudes are inversely related to the weighting of demographic status. however. Attitudes toward race-based affirmative action are inversely related to racism. The effect of AAP structure on attitudes is mediated. Our limited review of the economic literature found that implementation of affirmative action is associated with improved employment conditions of women and racial minorities. Support for affirmative action is stronger if the respondent has personally experienced discrimination. that many Whites believe discrimination is no longer a problem. and that Blacks themselves are to blame for the Black-White income gap. Opinions can be changed by providing the respondent with information about details of the AAP and by some justification of the use of affirmative action. age. and attitudes are inversely related to acceptance of a conservative. There is slightly more support for AAPs directed at women and people with disabilities than for AAPs directed at racial minorities. In addition. Minorities and women are more supportive of affirmative action than are White males. unless information is provided that clearly and unambiguously demonstrates their competence. but no empirical evidence that it harms organizations. Conclusions The strongest conclusion that can be drawn from the reviewed research is that the structure of an AAP will influence reactions to it. In addition. it is not known whether the results will generalize to ethnic minorities selected in the context of race-based procedures. but valid research is limited. Other work revealed no apparent effects of affirmative action on organizational effectiveness. There is evidence. and evaluations of selection procedures are directly related to the superiority of the chosen candidate. CONCLUSIONS.51 VIII. LIMITATIONS OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE. by judgments of fairness and self-interest. There is no empirical research on effects of affirmative action on relations among groups. but other demographic variables (e. support for affirmative action is higher if the respondent believes or is told that the target group has suffered discrimination. at least in part. although this effect is moderated by respondent demographic status in a manner consistent with self-interest. Individuals who are identified as being selected under an AAP are perceived as less competent. and limited research suggests that attitudes toward gender-based affirmative action are inversely related to sexism.g. by themselves and by others. This belief is consistent with a structuralist ideology. and public recognition of affirmative action excellence led to a temporary increase in stock prices. but theoretical work predicts that effects will be negative unless the AAP is positively evaluated by all involved parties. AND NEEDED RESEARCH A. although the improvements have been relatively small and inconsistent across subgroups. research has found that formal charges of discrimination led to a decrease in stock prices. and that public opinions are flexible.. . Conclusions regarding self-stigmatization must be qualified because almost all the relevant research has been based on reactions of White women to gender-based selection procedures. and fairness ratings are highly correlated with attitudes. Some limited evidence suggests that there is great variability in what the public thinks AAPs entail. In short. It has been suggested that attitudes will be associated with judgments of relative deprivation of the target group and the respondent's own group. education) are of little consequence. there is evidence that affirmative action helps target group members. structuralist political ideology.

and the weaknesses of one strategy will be balanced by the strengths of others (McGrath. Furthermore. A similar confusion reigns in the professional literature. In addition. etc. Indeed. Survey research. racism. or unspecified). others as recruitment. Another potential limitation is the contextual realism of the research and stimuli for participants. political perspective) lacks internal validity because these variables cannot be manipulated. Given the strong effect of AAP structure on reactions. there is a great need for research on what organizations actually do to implement their AAPs (cf. This information would help administrators develop AAPs that help the target groups without stimulating resentment and opposition. but does not permit exploration of the complexity of affirmative action attitudes. Much of the research on target and non-target group members¶ reactions has used experiments. Research using surveys. There is a need for additional research on affirmative action in other countries. some people operationalize affirmative action as quotas.. this research has not been done within the context of an actual AAP. and to evaluate the accuracy of public beliefs. the external validity of studies done with undergraduates responding to novel scenarios is uncertain until demonstrated otherwise. Confusion about what affirmative action entails has been increased by inconsistent statements made by decision makers and published by the media. New Zealand. Ideally. which necessarily simplify matters. "affirmative action" is too vague. We recommend that researchers use more precise terms when describing their research. lacks internal validity. strong. Most of the research we reviewed was performed in the United States. In addition. and for an additional attention to cultural influences on reactions to affirmative action. In comparison to actual AAPs. For example. On a related point. the political climate in the United States has changed . operational definitions of affirmative action have varied considerably. research on self-stigmatization has been limited to reactions of women to gender-based selection in (mainly laboratory) experiments. 1994). Unfortunately. as we have mentioned throughout this review. and therefore how easy they are to change or how strongly they manifest themselves in behavior. Thus. but this variation has not been accompanied by a parallel variation in terminology. others as the elimination of discrimination. many questions have been addressed in limited ways. others as preferential treatment (weak. 1995a). Insofar as research on attitudes toward AAPs is concerned primarily with content differences across persons and contexts rather than process differences (Eberhardt & Fiske. In brief. This lack of direct experience has important implications for how "crystallized" attitudes towards AAPs may be. and the Netherlands were also represented. every question should be addressed with multiple research strategies. much of the research has been done with undergraduates who typically have had little direct experience with affirmative action. 1981). Konrad & Linnehan. is more likely to permit such exploration. gender. the stimuli used in most of this research have been simplistic. This has the advantage of increasing internal validity.52 B. this inconsistency in operational definitions has sometimes led to a parallel inconsistency in results. ethnicity.g. all research on individual difference variables (e. although Canada. except for a few field studies with employed adults. This information could be used to improve the mundane realism of research on reactions to AAPs. Limitations and Needed Research The conclusions drawn above must be tempered by limitations in the research. in contrast. however. There is also a need for research on public beliefs about what actions are and should be included in AAPs.

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J. M. 73-93. (1990). E. 10(3). 47-58.. 291-309. F. 18. Any remaining problems with this review. Veilleux. 24. W. Turner. T. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. (1995). Uri... 15. Wright. Turner. Witt. 38. & Tougas. Affirmative action and job satisfaction: Self-interested v. Faye Crosby. & Pratkanis. A.. & Steel. 19. 22. 43-69. F. (1991). Turner. Competitiveness through management of diversity: Effects on stock price valuation. Effects of U. S.. A. E. Basic and Applied Psychology. & Pratkanis. M. 1-11.. Affirmative action as help: A review of recipient reactions to preferential selection and affirmative action. M. E. Warner. and we are very grateful for their help. (1989). & Veilleux. N. (1991). 272-287. Rupert Barnes Nacoste. (1994b).. R. A. Effects of preferential and meritorious selection on performance: An examination of intuitive and self-handicapping perspectives. & Mixon. Pratkanis. We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Wanda Chaves to this manuscript.some sobering findings from the academic workplace. S. Basic and Applied Social Psychology. J. (1994a). Review of Public Personnel Administration. Ferris. & Kroll.. Ann Marie Ryan and Jim Sharf. & Hardaway. Affirmative action: Insights from social psychological and organizational research. 13.. affirmative action programs on women's employment. 485-496. Public Personnel Management. F. L.. & Pratkanis. 367-382. R. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. S. P. S. 797-814. Academy of Management Journal. Affirmative action in times of fiscal stress and changing value priorities: The case of women in policing. The response of men to affirmative action strategies for women: The study of a predictive model.62 Tougas. R. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality.. 6. 424-432. Sex differences in reactions to preferential selection: Towards a model of preferential selection as help. S. M. Hiller. public spirited perspectives on social equity . A. Jim Breaugh. Male acceptance of affirmative action programs for women: The results of altruistic or egoistical motives? International Journal of Psychology. 15. of course. F. D. R. (1990). (1993). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Preparation of this review profited from comments by Ramona Bobocel. X. R. (1989). E. . Turner. B. P.. are the responsibility of the authors. Journal of Policy Modeling. M.

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