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The social consequences of affirmative action: Deleterious effects on perceptions of groups

By Gregory Richard Maio and V. M. Esses

Abstract

It has been suggested that the existence of affirmative action programs may create or exacerbate negative perceptions of groups that benefit from these programs. To test this hypothesis, the authors presented 51 participants with a (fictitious) editorial describing a relatively unfamiliar immigrant group in a positive manner and manipulated whether the group was described as being able to benefit from affirmative action programs. Participants then rated their perceptions of and attitudes toward the group. Participants also indicated their attitudes and thoughts about the group's immigration and their attitudes toward immigration in general. Results indicated that when affirmative action was mentioned, participants expressed less favorable perceptions of and attitudes toward the group and were less favorable toward immigration by the group. Interestingly, when affirmative action was mentioned, participants were also less favorable toward immigration in general. Overall, these findings indicate that the existence of affirmative action programs can have far-reaching effects on attitudes toward groups

Topics: BF
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0146167298241005
OAI identifier: oai:http://orca.cf.ac.uk:34720
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