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The Bases Of Opposition To Affirmative Action: An Attitude Change Effort by Meisha-Ann Martin A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Louis Penner, Ph.D. Edward Levine, Ph.D. Mark Pezzo, Ph.D. Date of Approval: September 5, 2003 Keywords: fairness, race, status, self-interest, diversity Copyright 2003 Meisha-Ann Martin
Table of Contents List of Figures iii Abstract iv Introduction 1 Affirmative Action 1 Perceptions of the Attributes of Affirmative Action 2 Perceived Fairness 6 Modern Racism 9 Collective Self-interest 12 Present Study 15 Hypothesis 1a 20 Hypothesis 1b 20 Hypothesis 2a 21 Hypothesis 2b 22 Hypothesis 2c 24 Method 25 Participants 25 Materials 25 Design 27 Procedure 29 Analyses 31 Results 32 Preliminary Analyses 32 Prejudice Level Classifications 33 Main Analyses 35 General Affirmative Action Attitudes 35 Affirmative Action Plan Attitudes 36 Discussion 39 General Affirmative Action Attitudes 39 Affirmative Action Plan Attitudes 43 Supplemental Analyses 50 Conclusion 51 References 54 Appendices 59 Appendix A: Affirmative Action Instructions 60 Appendix B: Multiple choice questions asked in pilot study 63 Appendix C: Affirmative action plan vignettes 67 i
Appendix D: Affirmative action plan semantic differential 70 Appendix E: Affirmative action semantic differential 71 ii
List of Figures Figure 1. Hypothesized interaction between attention and prejudice level 21 Figure 2. Hypothesized interaction between fairness and prejudice level 22 Figure 3. Hypothesized interaction between race, fairness and prejudice level 23 Figure 4. Hypothesized interaction between race, fairness, status and prejudice level 24 Figure 5. Interaction between fairness of plan and status of position 38 Figure 6. Interaction between race, fairness and prejudice level 38 iii
The Bases of Opposition to Affirmative Action: An Attitude Change Effort Meisha-Ann Martin ABSTRACT The present study examined the effects of perceptions of fairness, prejudice and collective self-interest on the affirmative action attitudes of 85 White undergraduate students. Participants were classified as non-racists, modern racists or old-fashioned racists based on their scores on the Implicit Association Test and Attitudes Toward Blacks scale. In the first phase of the study, participants read affirmative action information preceded by either high or low attention instructions. In the second phase, fairness, status of position and race of the target of an affirmative action plan were manipulated using vignettes. No significant differences were found in the first phase of the study. In the second phase, it was found that when the plan was unfair and the target Black, participants preferred plans for low status positions to plans for high status positions. This finding was consistent with the idea that fairness, race and collective self-interest are related to affirmative action attitudes. However, contrary to the initial hypotheses, these effects did not interact with level of prejudice. Possible reasons for the null results regarding prejudice were discussed. iv
1 INTRODUCTION The present study is concerned with the application of a theoretical model of attitude change to affirmative action in order to evaluate the success of such efforts in the changing of affirmative action attitudes. Variables such as perceptions of fairness, racial prejudice and collective self-interest were examined in order to explore their effects on the efficacy of the attitude change effort. To better understand what affirmative action is and the significance of presenting accurate affirmative action information in the present study, a brief history of affirmative action will now be presented. Affirmative Action In 1965, President Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 which stated that it was illegal for federal employers, contractors and subcontractors with contracts of $10,000 or more to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. (Gender was added in 1967 with Executive Order 11375). The order further required the aforementioned employers to establish and maintain an affirmative action plan in every facility employing 50 people or more. Affirmative action plans are defined as goals and timetables for increasing the representation of women and minorities. The agency that regulates affirmative action plans, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), requires federal employers to conduct utilization analyses in order to check for the underutilization of women and minorities. These analyses are conducted by determining the number of women and each minority group employed based on job titles and comparing those percentages to their availability for each job in the immediate area. Women and/or minorities are considered underutilized when they are being employed at a rate lower than their availability.
2 According to the OFCCP, the purpose of an affirmative action plan is to counteract the underutilization of minorities and women. When women and minorities are being underutilized, affirmative action plans are to be used to achieve utilization, not to maintain it. Consistent with the definition of affirmative action plans as goals and timetables, quotas are not be used to achieve utilization. Instead, employers are to use good faith efforts to implement all aspects of an affirmative action plan. These may include, for example, enhanced recruitment, selection and training efforts. Non-government organizations often voluntarily employ the above measures in order to increase the representation of minorities in their workforce. Arguably, affirmative action seems like a good idea. If minorities are found to be under-represented in the workforce, affirmative action plans are used to correct this imbalance. Still, affirmative action has been the subject of heated debate in the political arena and has encountered much opposition. Why would affirmative action encounter such widespread opposition? One proposed reason involves perceptions of the attributes of affirmative action. Perceptions of the Attributes of Affirmative Action It is apparent that many fail to understand how affirmative action works. Bell, Harrison and McLaughlin (2000) applied Fishbein and Ajzens (1975) conceptualization of an attitude to affirmative action and, as part of this application, elicited tacit affirmative action attributes from study participants in four studies. In accordance with the approach suggested by Fishbein and Ajzen, participants were asked three questions: (a) In your own opinion, what are the advantages of affirmative action programs?, (b) In your own opinion, what are the disadvantages of affirmative action programs?, and
3 (c) What else comes to your mind when you think about affirmative action programs? 1 Across the four studies, participants consistently reported that affirmative action plans cause employers to hire less qualified (and reject qualified) employees, can produce reverse discrimination against some people, frequently operate as quota systems and create perceptions that minorities and women would not qualify equally on their own merits. Interestingly, none of the participants mentioned recruitment and training efforts, which, as noted above, can be part of an affirmative action plan. Another study by Kravitz and Platina (1993) attempted to elicit affirmative action beliefs using tactics a little different from the approach mentioned above. This time, respondents were asked to evaluate the likelihood that various components would be true of an affirmative action plan. In this study, participants rated the use of quotas as most likely to be true of an affirmative action plan. However, contrary to the findings of Bell et al., these participants thought it unlikely that affirmative action plans would involve preferential treatment. Interestingly, participants also rated as unlikely actual components of affirmative action such as the requirement that organizations with government contracts or histories of discrimination develop an affirmative action plan, proportional hiring based on the number of qualified applicants and the filing of reports to the government of the distribution of employees. The study by Kravitz and Platina also illustrates the relationship between perceived attributes of an affirmative action plan and attitudes toward affirmative action. Attitudes toward affirmative action varied as a function of expectations of the typical 1 Fishbein and Ajzen, originators of the theory of reasoned action, suggest that a persons beliefs about an attitude object can be elicited using a free-response format by asking for a list of characteristics, qualities and attributes of the attitude object. The idea is that a person holds a large number of beliefs about an
4 attributes of an affirmative action plan. Expectations that affirmative action involved favoring minorities over a more qualified majority person and expectations of the use of quotas in hiring (without regard to qualifications) were associated with negative attitudes toward affirmative action. On the other hand, expectations that affirmative action involved proportional hiring based on the number of qualified applicants were associated with more positive affirmative action attitudes. Perceptions of affirmative action attributes have also been found to vary as a function of the race of the participant. In a study conducted by Kravitz and Klineberg (2000), Whites, more so than Blacks and Hispanics, were inclined to believe that a company with a typical affirmative action plan would hire more minorities and women even if they were less qualified than candidates who are White males. White males were also more likely to believe that affirmative action policies give unfair advantages to minorities and women. Whites were less likely than the other ethnic groups (with the exception of Hispanic immigrants) to perceive discrimination against Blacks and more likely to perceive discrimination against Whites. Another study by Bobo (1998) asked Whites, Blacks, Latinos and Asians their level of agreement with the statement Affirmative action for Blacks may force employers to hire unqualified people. Many Whites in the sample (47%) agreed with this statement. Furthermore, Whites agreed with this statement significantly more than did Blacks, Latinos or Asians. The fact that perceptions of affirmative action attributes differ as a function of the race of the respondent and attitudes toward affirmative action differ as a function of attitude object, but only the most salient beliefs determine the persons attitude. The above procedure is designed to elicit these salient beliefs.
5 perceptions of affirmative action attributes leads to the supposition that attitudes toward affirmative action also differ as a function of race. This supposition has received empirical support. Whites have consistently been found to be the strongest opponents of affirmative action (Kravitz, 1995; Konrad & Linnehan, 1995; Kravitz & Platina, 1993). In other studies, perceived affirmative action attributes were not specifically assessed. Instead, attributes of affirmative action plans were presented. For example, Summers (1995) presented participants with three descriptions (presented in random order) detailing three different affirmative action methods special training, differential scoring and quotas. In such cases, affirmative action attitudes have still been found to vary as a function of their attributes. The special training description informed participants that some affirmative action plans included special training programs available to members of a target group in order to improve their knowledge and skill levels and make them more eligible for jobs. The differential scoring description described setting different cutoff scores or otherwise adjusting scores on selection tests for target group members. In the third description, quotas were explained. Participants were least opposed to the special training affirmative action method and most opposed to the differential scoring affirmative action method. Attitudes towards quotas were in between attitudes toward special training and attitudes toward differential scoring. In other words, participants preferred quotas to differential scoring and preferred special training to quotas. A comparable study by Doverspike and Arthur (1995) also found that attitudes toward affirmative action differed as a function of how the plan was described. Participants had more negative reactions to an affirmative action plan that involved the
6 selection of a minority candidate with lower qualifications than the non-minority candidate than they had to an affirmative action plan that involved choosing an equally qualified minority candidate. The above studies establish the relationship between attributes of affirmative action plans (presented or perceived) and attitudes toward affirmative action. Attitudes toward affirmative action change as a function of what the person believes to be the attributes of the affirmative action plan. Some researchers have hypothesized that this relationship is mediated by perceived fairness (Leck, Saunders & Charbonneau, 1996; Summers 1995; Nacoste, 1990; Nacoste 1996). Perceived Fairness Procedural justice refers to the perceived fairness of a process while distributive justice refers to the perceived fairness of an outcome (Greenberg, 1990). Procedural justice seems to be more relevant to the issue of affirmative action for the following reasons. First of all, violations of procedural justice are more important than violations of distributive justice to perceptions of overall fairness (McFarlin & Sweeney, 1992; Greenberg, 1987). In other words, even if an outcome seems unfair, people often look at the process that led to the outcome in order to evaluate overall fairness. Second of all, according to Leventhal (1976), perceptions of procedural justice affect perceptions of distributive justice. If a process is perceived to be procedurally unfair, then the fairness of the outcome will be doubted. For the above reasons and also because affirmative action itself is a process and not an outcome, the following evaluation of the perceived fairness of affirmative action plans focus on procedural justice. Perceived fairness of the outcome of affirmative action plans will not be directly considered.
7 According to Nacostes (1990) procedural justice approach, the more weight task-relevant criteria, such as job experience and professional degrees, are given in an affirmative action plan, the greater the likelihood that the plan will be evaluated as fair and the lower the likelihood that the plan will be opposed. Conversely, the more weight group status, such as gender and race, is given in an affirmative action plan, the probability that the plan will be evaluated as fair decreases and the probability that it will be opposed increases. Therefore, reactions to affirmative action as well as evaluations of fairness should change as a function of how the plan is framed. This supposition has received empirical support. Doverspike and Arthur (1995) found that an affirmative action plan was considered fairer when it involved choosing between equally qualified candidates than when it involved choosing a minority candidate with lower qualifications than a non-minority competitor. And, as stated before, participants are less likely to oppose the former type of affirmative action plan than the latter. More direct support of perceptions of fairness as a mediator comes from Kravitz (1995), who found that when fairness ratings were entered first in a hierarchical regression equation and type of affirmative action plan was entered second, type of affirmative action plan failed to explain additional variance. A later study done by Kravitz and Klineberg (2000) also found that Whites attitudes toward different affirmative action plans varied as a function of beliefs that affirmative action gives unfair advantages to women and minorities. Respondents reactions to two affirmative action plans were sought. One affirmative action plan gave preference to a Black candidate over a White candidate when both had the same qualifications and Blacks were
8 underrepresented in the company. The other affirmative action plan entailed the hiring of a less qualified Black candidate over a more qualified White candidate. Respondents who did not believe affirmative action to be inherently unfair tended to have similarly neutral attitudes toward both plans. However, respondents who did believe that affirmative action was inherently unfair preferred the former plan to the latter even though they opposed both. These findings suggest that the relationship between attitudes toward affirmative action and type of affirmative action plan is largely mediated by the perceived fairness of the affirmative action plan. If perceived fairness of affirmative action and/or the attributes of affirmative action completely explained attitudes toward affirmative action, then affirmative action plans with attributes considered to violate the rules of procedural justice would always and uniformly be opposed regardless of who the plan benefits (Rioux & Penner, 1999). This, however, is not the case. Affirmative action plans benefiting Blacks typically encounter more opposition than identical affirmative action plans benefiting other targets (Dovidio, Gaertner, & Murrel, 1994; Murrell, Dietz-Uhler, Dovidio, Gaertner & Drout, 1994). Clayton and Tangri (1989) have also pointed out that violations of procedural justice have not barred acceptance of other forms of preferential selection. Veterans receive preference when they apply for certain civil service jobs and colleges and universities give preferences in admissions to state residents and children of alumni and professors. None of these preferential systems is perceived as unfair or immoral (Glasser, 1988). Several authors contend that prejudice toward the targets of affirmative action may explain the greater opposition for affirmative action plans benefiting Blacks and is yet another reason for opposition of affirmative action (Rioux & Penner, 1999; Dovidio,
9 Mann & Gaertner, 1989, Sears, Van Laar, Carrillo & Kosterman, 1997, Bobo & Kluegel, 1993). Modern Racism Explicit negative attitudes toward Blacks can be classified as overt or old-fashioned racism. This type of racism involves the biologically based theory of African racial inferiority, support for racial segregation and formal racial discrimination (McConahay, 1986). The idea that Blacks are biologically inferior has generally lost favor among most people and has been replaced by the non-racist ideology of egalitarianism. As a result, even though negative racial attitudes and stereotypes persist, they are now more are subtly expressed. In other words, explicit negative attitudes toward Blacks have been largely replaced with more subtle or implicit negative attitudes. These more subtle negative racial attitudes are called modern racism. One form of modern racism is aversive racism. Gaertner and Dovidio (1986) define aversive racism as an attitudinal adaptation resulting from an assimilation of an egalitarian value system with prejudice and racist beliefs. Aversive racism represents a subtle form of racism that is often unconscious and unintentional (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1999). Aversive racists, though they may consciously espouse values such as fairness, justice and racial equality, unconsciously still harbor the negative racial beliefs and feelings of a historically racist culture (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1989). Because aversive racists consciously espouse egalitarian values, they will generally not discriminate against Blacks in unambiguous situations where such behavior will be seen as prejudiced. When the situation is ambiguous, however, and the norms for non-prejudiced behavior are not clearly proscribed, then aversive racists will behave in ways that adversely impact
10 Blacks while justifying their behavior in terms of non-race factors. In this way, aversive racists discriminate against Blacks while protecting their self-image as a non-racist. Symbolic racism is another form of modern racism. It is similar to aversive racism but slightly different. Aversive racism focuses on subtle racism among liberals whereas symbolic racism focuses on anti-Black socialization, conservatism and traditional American values. As with aversive racism though, symbolic racists justify their racist beliefs and behaviors using non-racist ideology and are also often unaware of their racist feelings (McConahay, 1986). Under the aversive racism framework though, this justification usually takes the form of egalitarian ideals; under the symbolic racism framework, this justification usually takes the form of conservative political ideology. According to the idea of symbolic racism, Whites are socialized to have negative feelings toward Blacks (Dovidio, Mann & Gaertner, 1989). These feelings persist into adulthood but are expressed indirectly and symbolically through, for instance, opposition to social policies that benefit Blacks, rather than directly and overtly through, for instance, support for segregation (McConahay & Hough, 1976). As a result, even though many symbolic racists will no longer express anti-Black sentiments, presenting them with racially targeted policies evokes anti-black responses (Sears et al., 1997). These responses, though justified using non-racist ideology, operate to maintain the racial status quo (McConahay & Hough, 1976). This type of racism also incorporates the belief that racism is an idea of the past and that Blacks make excessive demands for special treatment when they should be working harder to overcome their disadvantages (Sears, 1988). These ideas are embedded in strong American values such as work ethic, discipline and respect for traditional authority (Kinder & Sears, 1981).
11 Sears, Van Laar and Carrillo and Kosterman (1997) used archival data to illustrate the link between symbolic racism and affirmative action. The study used four surveys that incorporated measures of symbolic racism and affirmative action attitudes the 1986 and 1992 National Election Studies, the 1994 General Social Survey (GSS) and the 1995 Los Angeles County Social Survey (LACSS). Correlational and regression analyses indicated that symbolic racism was a consistent and powerful predictor of affirmative action attitudes. For the four years of data administration, the correlations ranged from .42 to .45. Sears et al. provide compelling and empirically based arguments that symbolic racism is at the core of Whites opposition to different policies that target Blacks. Factor analyses of responses to different race-targeted policies suggest either a common factor or several highly correlated factors. Sears et al. argue that race is the commonality among all these different policies and symbolic racism is the uniform response. Sears et al. also found that although, as stated before, anti-Black responses to social policy, under the symbolic racism framework, are often expressed in terms of non-racist ideology, non-racial attitudes such as social welfare and traditional social values failed to predict affirmative action attitudes as well as the measures of symbolic racism. In addition, symbolic racism adds significant incremental variance to the prediction of affirmative action attitudes over that of nonracial attitudes regardless of when it is added to the regression equation. In studies that produced complementary results, Little, Murray and Wimbush (1998) also found that symbolic racism significantly added to the prediction of affirmative action attitudes over social desirability, race and gender and Jacobson (1985) found that symbolic racism predicted negative affirmative action attitudes better than old
12 fashioned racism, stereotyping or self-interest. The link between affirmative action and modern racism has been illustrated by at least one other researcher. Kravitz (1995) found a significant inverse relationship between affirmative action attitudes and modern racism; respondents who scored higher on an aversive racism scale tended to have less favorable affirmative action attitudes. Another theory of Whites resistance to affirmative action involves the idea of the racial status quo. According to this reasoning, Whites oppose affirmative action because it strives to change a racial status quo that is in their interest. Collective Self-interest According to Kinder and Sears (1981), Whites resistance to changes in the racial status quo may not be racism; it could be a natural hostility that results from Whites perceptions that Blacks pose threats to their well being. This line of reasoning is derived from realistic group conflict theory (LeVine & Campbell, 1972). According to this theory, Blacks and Whites are in competition for scarce resources. This perception of threat by Whites creates hostility directed towards the source of the threat Blacks. Following this line of reasoning then, the driving force of this hostility is scarcity of resources. When Whites and Blacks compete for scarce resources, the struggle for group interests creates hostility. If this theory holds, this would mean that Whites oppose affirmative action because they perceive Blacks as competitive threats for valued social resources, status and privileges currently held mostly by Whites (Bobo, 1998). Therefore, opposition to affirmative action should vary as a function of the scarcity of the resources being sought. In other words, Whites should oppose affirmative action plans for lower level positions
13 less than they oppose affirmative action plans for higher level positions since higher level positions represent scarcer resources than do lower level positions. Studies that have examined opposition to affirmative action as a function of race have produced results consistent with the collective self-interest hypothesis. As stated before, Whites (especially White males), who have the least to gain from affirmative action, tend to oppose affirmative action targeted toward Blacks more than other racial groups do. In general, Blacks and women, who usually have the most to gain from affirmative action, tend to have the least opposition to affirmative action (Kravitz, 2000; Bobo, 1998; Kravitz & Platina, 1993). Further examination of affirmative action studies show that when a group is the target of an affirmative action plan the group tends to be the least opposed to the plan (Doverspike & Arthur, 1995; Summers, 1995, Konrad and Linnehan, 1995). In addition, as pointed out by Bobo (1998), the fact that advocacy for affirmative action has come principally from the traditional civil rights community is yet another indicator that collective self-interest plays a role in affirmative action attitudes. Still, few authors have undertaken the empirical investigation of collective self-interest as a reason for opposition to affirmative action. Even less have addressed the idea that attitudes toward affirmative action plan vary as a function of the position affirmative action is applied to. Investigations of self-interest as a contributor to affirmative action attitudes have garnered equivocal results. Bobo (1998) used a large-scale telephone survey to investigate the contributions of symbolic racism, political ideology and perceived threat to self-interest to affirmative action attitudes. Bobo found that both symbolic racism and perceived threat to self-interest were much more important than political ideology in
14 predicting affirmative action attitudes. An earlier study by Kinder and Sears (1981) attempted to predict preference for a Black or White mayoral candidate from symbolic racism and perceived threats to self-interest. In this study, the results were slightly different. First of all, the standardized regression coefficients obtained in this study for self-interest items were much lower than those obtained in the Bobo study and often failed to reach levels of statistical significance. Second of all, when Kinder and Sears examined if perceived threats to self-interest added to the prediction of candidate preference from symbolic racism they found that it did not. This is an examination Bobo failed to conduct. It is possible that results are equivocal because of the different ways self-interest was operationalized. In the study conducted by Kinder and Sears (1981), self-interest hypotheses were formed based on the idea of collective self-interest but self-interest was operationalized in terms of threats to personal well being. In the Bobo (1998) study, the measures of self-interest were more in line with the idea of protecting collective self-interest. This may explain why Bobo (1998) obtained larger standardized regression coefficients than did Kinder and Sears (1981). Dovidio (2001) was one of the only authors to address the idea of reactions to affirmative action changing as a function of the position affirmative action is applied to. In his study, participants were asked to evaluate Black and White applicants with weak, moderate and strong qualifications for a position. As expected, evaluations of Black applicants increased as a function of their qualifications. More interesting though, is the fact that the differences in evaluations given for Black and White applicants also changed as a function of qualifications. As qualifications increased, so did the differences in
15 evaluations. When qualifications were weak, evaluations for Black and White applicants were approximately equal; when they were moderate, White applicants were evaluated more favorably than Black applicants were; when they were strong, this difference increased even more. Although Dovidios study only investigated the effect of status of position on affirmative action attitudes indirectly, his results may be explained by collective self-interest. Presumably, the stronger the qualifications of the applicant, the greater the perceived threat from that applicant. If this is indeed the case, these results should generalize to affirmative action. Affirmative action applied to high status positions should also produce more of a threat to collective self-interest than affirmative action applied to low status positions. This increased threat to collective self-interest should create greater discrimination against Black applicants as evidenced in Dovidios study. However, in the context of the present study, this discrimination should be manifested as greater opposition to the affirmative action plan. In the present study, self-interest will be considered generally, as collective self-interest as opposed to personal self-interest, in support of the idea that opposition to affirmative action stems from the fear of Whites that the racial status quo will change in a way that is less to their favor. In addition, status of applicant will be manipulated in an attempt to generalize Dovidios (2001) results to affirmative action. Present study Three reasons for White opposition to affirmative action have been examined perceived unfairness, racism and threat to collective self-interest. These three factors are not mutually exclusive and all play in role in the formation of affirmative action attitudes.
16 How then, given all these factors, can affirmative action attitudes be changed? Which factors aid in the attitude change effort? According to Fishbein and Ajzens (1975) theory of reasoned action, a persons attitude toward an attitude object is determined by that persons beliefs about the attitude object. Therefore, any attitude change effort must always be directed at an individuals beliefs. According to this theory, attitudes toward an attitude object are the direct result of the perceived attributes of the object perceived attributes being the multiplicative product of beliefs about the object and evaluations of those beliefs. Therefore, an attitude change effort can either focus on changing beliefs about the object or on changing evaluations of those beliefs. And, since perceived attributes are influenced by information about the attitude object, information given about the attitude object can serve as the vehicle to change beliefs or evaluations of beliefs. Following these ideas, Bell et al. (2000) undertook one particularly ambitious effort to change attitudes towards affirmative action using Fishbein and Ajzens (1975) conceptualization of attitudes. Bell et al. (2000) found partial support for the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) as applied to affirmative action. Firstly, attitudes towards affirmative action were found to vary as a function of perceived attributes the multiplicative product of beliefs about affirmative action and evaluations of those beliefs, i.e. feelings about the believed attributes. Secondly, since perceived attributes, according to the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), are influenced by information about the attitude object, affirmative action information was manipulated in an attempt to change affirmative action attitudes. Providing negative information about affirmative action resulted in less favorable attitudes than did
17 providing positive or neutral information. Further inspection of the data showed that the attitudes of White participants could be made more negative but not more positive. The authors suggest that future studies could attempt to present favorable information about affirmative action persuasively in an attempt to change affirmative action attitudes. This suggestion is consistent with Fishbein and Ajzens (1975) observation that persuasive communication corresponds with attitude change efforts that attempt to change beliefs by presenting information from outside sources. The present study attempts to extend the work of Bell et al. (2000) by following the suggestion to present affirmative action information persuasively as part of the effort to change affirmative action attitudes. To this end, the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion will be used (Petty & Cacciopo, 1981). According to this model of persuasion, there are two routes to attitude change the central route and the peripheral route. When the central route is taken, attention is paid to the content of the message as opposed to superficial cues and any resulting attitude change is more likely to be permanent. When the peripheral route is taken, attention is paid to superficial cues such as length of the message and expertise of the source of the message and not to the actual content of the message. In addition, any resulting attitude change is less likely to be permanent. Choice of persuasive route is dependent on motivation and ability. In order to take the central route of processing to attitude change, one must have the motivation and ability to do so. Motivation refers to anything that prompts the receiver of the information to pay attention to the message. Ability, on the other hand, refers to the presence of cognitive resources that allow for attention to the message. For the present study, it was assumed that all participants had the ability to pay attention to the content of the
18 persuasive message. Motivation was provided using instructions. These instructions asked the participants to pay careful attention to the message and informed participants that they would be asked questions about the information presented. Paying attention to the content of the message is especially important in the present study because beliefs are being targeted. The objective is to have participants change their beliefs and replace them with the information presented. For this to occur, the information must first be attended to. A successful persuasive presentation of accurate affirmative action information would address misperceptions of affirmative action. It would not, however, address prejudice. Therefore, it was expected that when accurate affirmative action information is presented persuasively and reactions to a specific plan are sought, old-fashioned racists would have more negative reactions to affirmative action than would modern racists since old-fashioned racists oppose affirmative action primarily because of undisguised racism. Modern racists, on the other hand, oppose affirmative action for a number of reasons. They oppose affirmative action because of subtle racism, because they perceive affirmative action to be unfair due to their misconceptions of its reality and probably because affirmative action is against their self-interests. According to Rioux and Penner (1999), for modern racists, claims of unfairness are used to camouflage racism, which is the real reason for opposition to affirmative action. Therefore, when the situation is unambiguous and unfairness can no longer be used as an excuse for opposition, modern racists will not oppose affirmative action. Nevertheless, the underlying racism that caused them to oppose affirmative action in the first place will still be present. As a result, when the situation becomes more ambiguous, attitudes driven by racism will again appear. On
19 the other hand, if participants who are neither old-fashioned nor modern racists oppose affirmative action, they tend to do so because their misconceptions of its reality really cause them to believe it is unfair. In the present study, two scales were administered to participants to determine their level of prejudice an old-fashioned racism scale designed to measure explicit racial attitudes and a scale designed to measure subtle and implicit negative racial attitudes. Participants who scored above the median on the subtle racism scale and had a mean score that was above the neutral point on the old-fashioned racism scale were classified as old-fashioned racists. Participants who scored above the median on the subtle racism scale and had a mean score that was below the neutral point on the old-fashioned racism scale were classified as modern racists. Participants who scored below the median on the subtle racism scale and had a mean score that was below the neutral point on the old-fashioned racism scale were classified non-racists. This is similar to the classification scheme employed by Dovidio (2001). Old-fashioned racists explicitly indicate that they are racist and, according to the implicit measure, they are; subtle racists claim explicitly not to be racist but according to the implicit measure they are; non-racists claim explicitly not to be racists and according to the implicit measure they are not. Because these measures will be administered last to prevent priming participants with race, these classifications will only be made prior to data analysis. The study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, accurate affirmative action information was presented to all participants. In addition, half of the participants received instructions asking them pay careful attention to the message and informing them that questions would be asked later about the content of the message (high attention
20 condition). Half of the participants received instructions asking them to read the information very quickly as they only had a few minutes (low attention condition). Attitudes toward affirmative action were then measured. It was expected that affirmative action attitudes would differ as a function of prejudice level, supporting the idea that racism is a determinant of affirmative action attitudes. Hypothesis 1a: Old-fashioned racists and modern racists will have less positive attitudes toward affirmative action than will non-racists. It was also expected that the attention manipulation would affect participants differently as a function of their level of prejudice. For old-fashioned racists, paying attention to the content of the message should evoke more negative cognitions directed toward Blacks. For modern racists, paying attention to the message should highlight the fairness of the message since the message will depict accurate affirmative action information found to be fair by participants of previous studies. Therefore, a two-way interaction between prejudice level and attention was predicted; the effects of attention were expected to vary as a function of prejudice level. Hypothesis 1b: Old-fashioned racists in the high attention condition will have less positive affirmative action attitudes than old-fashioned racists in the low attention condition. Modern racists and non-racists in the high attention condition will have more favorable affirmative action attitudes than modern racists and non-racists in the low attention condition. (See Figure 1.) The second phase of the study focused more on the relationship between subtle racism and reactions to affirmative action. In this phase, each participant was presented with two vignettes. Fairness of plan, race and status of the target person were
21 manipulated. Each variable had two levels. The plan was either be fair or unfair, the target (always a female to ensure applicability for affirmative action) was either Black or White and she was seeking either a high or low status position. A two-way interaction between fairness and prejudice level was expected; the effects of fairness on affirmative action attitudes would vary as a function of prejudice levels. Non-racistsOld-fashioned racistsAffirmative Action AttitudesHigh AttentionLow Attention Modern racists Figure 1. Hypothesized interaction between attention and prejudice level Hypothesis 2a: The fairness manipulation will produce no effects for oldfashioned racists; they will equally oppose fair and unfair affirmative action plans. Modern racists and non-racists in the fair condition will have more positive attitudes toward the affirmative action plan than modern racists and non-racists in the unfair condition. (See Figure 2.)
22 This two-way interaction would be qualified by race of target. It was expected that the effects of fairness and race of target on affirmative action attitudes would vary as a function of prejudice level. Non-racistsOld-fashioned ra c i s t s Affirmative Action Attitudes Fair Unfai r Modern racists Figure 2. Hypothesized interaction between fairness and prejudice level Hypothesis 2b: Old-fashioned racists in the Black target condition will have more negative attitudes toward the affirmative action plan than old-fashioned racists in the White target condition. Fairness of plan will produce no effects when the target is Black, but when the target is White, a fair plan will be preferred to an unfair one. The race manipulation will not produce any effects for modern racists in the fair condition. Modern racists in the unfair condition will have more negative attitudes toward the affirmative action plan when the
23 target is a Black female than when the target is a White female. Non-racists will not be affected by the race of the target but will prefer a fair plan to an unfair one. (See Figure 3.). Unfai r Fairness of planFairness of planFairness of plan White TargetAffirmative Action AttitudesFair Modern Racists White TargetAffirmative Action AttitudesFair UnfairOld-Fashioned Racists White TargetAffirmative Action AttitudesFair Non-RacistsUnfai r Black target Black target Black target Figure 3. Hypothesized interaction between race, fairness and prejudice level According to Dovidio (2001), aversive racists have more negative attitudes toward affirmative action and other social policies when they are directed toward high status Blacks. This may be related to self-interest. High status Blacks are competing for scarce positions and support for a policy that aids in obtaining such a position would clearly violate the self-interest of Whites. Consistent with the realistic group conflict theory, this competition for scarce resources will produce more hostility than if a low
24 status Black is competing for a position that is not as scarce. Therefore, it was expected that the three-way interaction hypothesized would be exacerbated by status of target. Hypothesis 2c: The status manipulation will have no effects on old-fashioned racists and non-racists. Modern racists will have less positive attitudes toward the affirmative action plan when the plan is unfair, the woman is Black and she has a high status than when the plan is unfair, the woman is Black and she has a low status. (See Figure 4.) Black TargetUnfairFairness of planFairness of planFairness of planWhite TargetUnfairFairness of planFairness of planFairness of plan Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair UnfairModern Racists Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair UnfairOld-Fashioned Racists Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair Non-Racists Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair UnfairModern Racists Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair UnfairOld-Fashioned Ri t Low StatusAffirmative Action AttitudesFair Non-Racists High Status High Status High Status High Status High Status High Status Figure 4. Hypothesized interaction between race, fairness, status and prejudice level
25 METHOD Participants Eighty-five White undergraduate Psychology students (71 females and 14 males) from a large southeastern university participated in exchange for extra class credit. Materials A paper and pencil version of the implicit association test (IAT) was used to measure implicit negative racial attitudes. The IAT assesses the association between race and positive or negative attributes by measuring latency of response. The idea is that ones implicit racial attitudes are salient and dominant. Therefore, someone with negative attitudes toward Blacks should have more difficulty associating Blacks with positive attributes than they have associating Blacks with negative attributes since the Black/negative association is more salient and dominant than the Black/positive association. Using this rationale, the paper-based verbal stimuli version of the IAT compares participants speed at categorizing words as either Black/pleasant or White/unpleasant with their speed at categorizing words as either Black/unpleasant or White/pleasant to see which set of associations is more dominant. The paper-based verbal stimuli IAT is divided into two halves, one for the White/Unpleasant association and one for the White/Pleasant association (see Appendix 1). Each half is comprised of two columns. The column headings are dependent on which half of the IAT is being administered. The left heading is either White/Pleasant or White/Unpleasant. The right heading is either Black/Pleasant or Black/Unpleasant. In the middle of each column there is a list of words and names, each flanked on the left and right by a circle. The circle on the left corresponds to the left column heading and the
26 circle on the right corresponds to the right column heading. The participant is instructed to look at the word or name, make a classification and mark the circle corresponding to the appropriate column heading. Participants are to classify names as either Black or White and words as either pleasant or unpleasant. The IAT is scored by comparing the number of correct responses completed in 20 seconds for each set of pairings. Again, the assumption is that if one holds negative implicit attitudes toward Blacks, then categorizing words as Black/pleasant or White/unpleasant would be more difficult and thus take longer than categorizing words as Black/unpleasant or White/pleasant because the former is a more unfamiliar pairing than the latter. Therefore, in the 40 seconds allotted (20 seconds for each pairing), someone with negative implicit attitudes toward Blacks would complete more Black/unpleasant and White/pleasant categorizations than Black/pleasant and White/unpleasant categorizations. In an investigation of reliability and utility conducted by Lemm, Sattler, Khan, Mitchell and Dahl (2002), the paper-based verbal stimuli IAT was found to have acceptable test-retest reliability (mean r = .57) and acceptable correlations with the conceptually similar computer-based IAT (mean r = .33). For this reason, and the fact that the paper-based verbal stimuli IAT was more convenient to administer than the computer-based IAT (especially when running participants in groups), the paper-based verbal stimuli IAT was used for the present study. The Attitudes toward Blacks (ATB) scale created by Brigham (1993) was used to measure explicit racism. The ATB (see Appendix 2) is comprised of 25 questions including 5 questions from the Modern Racism Scale. The response format for all
27 questions is a five point Likert scale ranging from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5). A larger total score indicates more negative racial attitudes. This scale correlates substantially with the Multifactor Racial Attitudes Inventory Short Scale ( r = .86) and Kinder and Sears(1981) index of expressive racism ( r = .45), demonstrating some convergent validity. This scale also has excellent internal reliability ( =.88). Following an approach used by Summers (1995), attitudes toward affirmative action in general and specific affirmative action scenarios were assessed using a 9-point semantic differential scale with seven bipolar verbal descriptors. The verbal descriptors were: Right-Wrong, Correct-Incorrect, Unjust-Just, Positive-Negative, Unfair-Fair, Objective-Biased. Some items were reverse coded so that higher total scores reflected more positive attitudes. Experimental Design As mentioned before, the experiment was conducted in two phases. The independent variables in the first phase were prejudice and attention to the persuasive message. There were three levels of prejudice (modern, old-fashioned and non-prejudiced) and two levels of attention (high attention and low attention), making the first phase of the study a 2x3 between-subjects factorial design. In the second phase of the study, three variables were manipulated using a factorial survey design. This design combines elements of a traditional factorial design with the methodology of survey sampling. The researcher first creates a factorial object universe by combining all possible levels of the variables under study. This creates a number of vignettes. For example, if three variables are being investigated and each variable has two levels then eight vignettes would be created. These vignettes would
28 represent all possible combinations of the levels of variables. Each participant then receives and responds to a random sample of vignettes from the factorial object universe. In the factorial survey design, the item becomes the level of analysis. Individual judgements of items (levels of variables) are pooled to provide a sample of judgements. These samples of responses are then used to assess main effects and interactions. The factorial survey design is very useful for the empirical investigation of socially sensitive issues (Rossi & Anderson, 1982). In the traditional within-subjects factorial design, each participant receives all levels of all variables. In this case, the purpose of the study might become obvious to the participants and they may be inclined to provide only socially acceptable answers. In the factorial survey design approach, it is much harder for the participant to guess the purpose of the study and change answers accordingly because he/she is only presented with a random sample of conditions. For this reason, this design has been used in the past by researchers investigating socially sensitive issues (Murrell et al., 1994; Rioux & Penner, 1999). The factorial survey design was used for the present study because it improved on the between-subject factorial design. This design makes it harder for participants to guess the purpose of the study and it also allows for a more efficient use of participants because one participant receives more than one vignette and so responds to more levels of each variable. A factorial object universe was created using three variables: fairness of scenario, race of the target of the affirmative action plan and status of the position that the affirmative action plan was applied to. Therefore, the vignettes were varied based on these three variables.
29 Each vignette had a basic scenario. A fictitious company (XYZ) discovered that it was hiring minorities at a rate disproportionate to the numbers of minorities available in the workforce. To correct this discrepancy, the company decided to implement an affirmative action plan. The vignette was presented as an example of this affirmative action plan. In each vignette, a White male and a female are competing for a position and, because of the affirmative action plan, the female is awarded the position. The female was always the target of the affirmative action plan to ensure that even when race varied, the target was still eligible for affirmative action. The White male was always her competitor because White males are not eligible for affirmative action. The female target was either White or Black, seeking a high status position (Vice President of Marketing) or a low status position (data entry clerk) and the scenario presented in the vignette was either fair or unfair. An unfair scenario was operationalized as one in which the female target received the position even though she was less qualified than the White male. A fair scenario was operationalized as one in which the female was equally qualified for the position. These operationalizations were based on previous research findings of which facets of affirmative action are considered fair and unfair (Doverspike & Arthur, 1995). Participants were classified on prejudice level using the prejudice measures (IAT and ATB) after the data was collected. Procedure Participants were run in groups of three or less. Each participant completed the study materials in a secluded room.
30 In the first phase of the study, each participant was first given a short passage about affirmative action to read (see Appendix 3). This passage included statistical information to show the comparative lack of opportunities for minorities and women in the workplace and an explanation of the mechanics of affirmative action. This information was used to make an argument for the necessity of affirmative action plans in the workplace. The instructions preceding the passage varied depending on which attention condition the participant was in. Participants in the high attention condition were instructed to read the material very carefully, because they would be asked content-based questions at the end of the experimental session. These participants were left alone to read it and signaled the experimenter when they were through. Participants in the low attention condition were instructed to read the material very quickly, as they only had a few minutes. Participants in this condition were given two and a half minutes. When the participants signaled the experimenter (high attention condition) or when the participants two and a half minutes were up (low attention condition), the experimenter collected the affirmative action passage and gave the participant a 9-point semantic differential scale entitled Affirmative Action to complete. At the signal from the participant, the experimenter collected the completed semantic differentials. In the second phase of the study, each participant was presented with two randomly chosen affirmative action vignettes. After each vignette, participants responded to the same semantic differential scale used in the first phase of the study. The subject of these semantic differential scales, however, was XYZs Affirmative
31 Action Plan. The experimenter collected the first vignette and the completed semantic differential before the second vignette and semantic differential were given to the participants. After the second vignette and semantic differential were collected, each participant completed the paper and pencil verbal stimuli Implicit Association Test (IAT) scale. The paper and pencil IAT was preceded by a practice task in which participants were asked to categorize words as insect/good or flower/bad as well as the reverse, insect/bad and flower/good. For the practice task, each participant received the insect/good and flower/bad association first, followed by the insect/bad and flower/good association. However, for the critical tasks, order was counterbalanced so that approximately half the participants attempted the White/pleasant and Black/unpleasant associations first and the other half attempted the White/unpleasant and Black/pleasant association first. In both the practice task and the critical task, participants were given 20 seconds per set of association (e.g. White/pleasant and Black/unpleasant) to categorize as many words as they could. Finally, after the IAT was completed and collected, participants completed the Attitudes Toward Blacks scale. Analyses Data from the first phase of the study was analyzed using a between subjects 2X3 ANOVA. Data from the second phase of the study was examined for main effects and two and three way interactions by conducting a mixed model 3x2x2x2 ANOVA on the factorial survey design. Since the vignette was the unit of analysis and prejudice levels differ as a function of vignettes, prejudice level were considered as a within-subjects
32 variable. The hypothesis involving the four-way interaction (Hypothesis 2c) was tested using a planned comparison. Therefore, the ANOVA was not fully crossed. It was only used to examine the main effects, two-way and three-way interactions. RESULTS Preliminary Analyses A pilot study was conducted before the actual study in order to carry out a manipulation check on the attention instructions to be used in the first phase of the experiment. Sixty-four participants were randomly assigned to either the high attention instructions or the low attention instructions, received the affirmative action message, and then were asked a series of multiple-choice questions (see Appendix 4). The first question asked the participants to choose the statement that best described how carefully they read the affirmative action information. The answers ranged from I read the information more carefully than I usually read other material to I read the information a lot less carefully than I usually read other information. The second question tested participants memory of the instructions they received by asking them to pick the statement that was included with their affirmative action information. The statements were: a) Please circle all positive statements about affirmative action; b) Please circle all negative information about affirmative action; c) Please read the following information carefully, as you will be asked questions about the content at the end of the session; and d) Please read the following information as quickly as possible as you only have a few minutes. The correct answer was always either c or d. because statements a and b were never included in the instructions. The final seven questions
33 asked about the affirmative action information presented. In all the analyses that follow the alpha level was set at .05 Participants in the high attention condition reported significantly paying more attention to the affirmative action information, t (66) = 5.413, p < .0001, ( Ms = 3.44 vs. 2.65) and answered marginally more of the content based questions correctly t (66) = 1.857, p = .068, ( Ms = 4.59 vs. 3.91). All participants correctly identified the instructions they received. A second set of preliminary analyses was done for the semantic differential conducted to assess feelings about affirmative action and the semantic differential entitled XYZs affirmative action plan . These analyses were conducted after the final study was completed in order to determine if, for subsequent analyses, individual items could be combined into a total score. Item analyses indicated that both scales demonstrated excellent internal reliability; = .93 for the general affirmative action semantic differential and = .97 for the affirmative action plan semantic differential. All item-to-total correlations were greater than .7. Based on these results, for both semantic differentials, individual semantic differential items were combined into a total score. Prejudice Level Classifications The IAT was scored by calculating the difference in the number of items completed for the White/Pleasant and Black/Unpleasant associations vs. the White/Unpleasant and Black/Pleasant associations. The median difference score for the IAT was 2, with a range from to 18. The mean of difference scores was 2.94, and the standard deviation 4.17. The median was used instead of the mean because medians are
34 less affected by the extreme scores. Unlike the approach taken with the IAT, the neutral point of the ATB scale (3) was used for the prejudice classification. The ATB was treated differently because it was expected that since the ATB is an explicit measure of racism and racism is not socially acceptable, quite a few responses would be socially acceptable but not necessarily truthful. Therefore, it would be more meaningful to compare the responses of individual participants to the neutral point of the scale than to compare the scores to an average of the group, which would be biased in the direction of positive attitudes. Since higher scores on the ATB indicate more negative racial attitudes, participants who had a mean score that was below 3 were considered to have positive attitudes toward Blacks and participants who had a mean score that was above 3 were considered to have negative racial attitudes toward Blacks. Almost all of the participants had a mean score that was below 3, supporting the above expectation that an average of the group would be biased in the direction of more positive racial attitudes. Participants who scored above the median on the IAT and above the neutral point of the ATB were considered old-fashioned racists because the participant admitted to negative racial attitudes (ATB) and easier associated White with pleasant and Black with unpleasant (IAT) than White with unpleasant and Black with pleasant. However, since almost all participants scored below the neutral point of the ATB, only one participant was classified as an old-fashioned racist. Since this was not enough to conduct comparative analyses, this classification was not considered in the subsequent analyses. Participants who scored above the median on the IAT and below the neutral point on the ATB were considered aversive racists. These participants reported positive racial
35 attitudes on the ATB but also found it easier to associate White with pleasant and Black with Unpleasant than White with unpleasant and Black with pleasant. Participants who scored below the median on the IAT and below the neutral point on the ATB were considered non-racists. These participants reported positive racial attitudes on the ATB and they did not have an easier time with the White/Pleasant and Black/Unpleasant associations than with the White/Unpleasant and Black/Pleasant associations. Prejudice level classifications were done conservatively. Participants on the median of the IAT were considered below the median. In one case, a participant scored below the mean on the IAT and above the neutral point on the ATB. The IAT was given more weight in this case since it is harder to disguise ones true racial attitudes on the IAT than on the ATB; the participant was classified as a non-racist. Main Analyses General Affirmative Action Attitudes In this phase of the study, it was expected that participants general affirmative action attitudes would vary as a function of prejudice so that modern racists would have less positive affirmative action attitudes than non-racists. This was not the case. Attitudes toward affirmative action did not differ as a function of prejudice level, F (1,79) = .140, p > .05. Modern racists did not have less positive affirmative action attitudes than non-racists ( Ms = 43.93 vs. 43.05). Therefore, Hypothesis 1a was not supported. An interaction between prejudice level and attention was also hypothesized. It was expected that the effect of attention on modern and non-racists would be different from the effect of attention on old-fashioned racists. Since there were insufficient old-fashioned racists for this analysis, only the data for modern and non-racists were used.
36 Without the old-fashioned racists in the analysis, the pattern of results expected no longer forms an interaction since modern and non-racists were expected to behave in the same fashion. Therefore, the data were only examined for a main effect of attention. It was expected that participants who received the high attention instructions would have more positive affirmative action attitudes than participants who received the low attention instructions. Contrary to expectations, there was no main effect of attention, F (1, 79) = .714, p > .05. Participants in the high attention condition did not have more positive affirmative action attitudes than participants in the low attention condition ( Ms = 42.27 vs. 44.47). Therefore, the amended hypothesis 1b was not supported. Since old-fashioned racists were dropped from the analyses, it was necessary to change some of the remaining hypotheses. In instances where the modern and non-racists were expected to act alike but different from the old-fashioned racists the hypotheses concerned changed from being about interactions to being about main effects. However, when the modern and non-racists were expected to behave differently, the hypotheses remained about interactions. Affirmative Action Plan Attitudes It was expected that old-fashioned racists would not be affected by the fairness of the affirmative action plan but modern and non-racists would prefer a fair affirmative action plan to an unfair affirmative action plan. As explained above, since modern and non-racists were expected to behave the same, the data were examined for a main effect of fairness. A main effect of fairness was found, F (1,1) = 15820.755, p < .01. Participants preferred a fair affirmative action plan ( M = 42.15, SD = .282) to an unfair
37 affirmative action plan ( M = 17.05, SD = .282). Therefore, the amended Hypothesis 2a was supported. Although no other main effects were expected, there were two other main effects that were marginally significant. Non-racists were somewhat more supportive of the affirmative action plans ( M = 31.59, SD = 8.08) than were aversive racists ( M = 27.60, SD =0.243), F (1,1) = 115.01, p = .059. Race of target was also marginally significant, F (1,1) = 123.49, p = .057. Participants preferred affirmative action plans for White targets ( M = 30.71, SD = .282) over affirmative action plans for Black targets ( M = 28.49, SD = .282). Status of position was not significant, F (1,1) = 4.12, p < .05. In other words, participants reacted to affirmative action plans for the high status position (Vice President of Marketing) the same way they reacted to affirmative action plans for the low status position (data entry clerk), ( Ms = 29.40 vs. 29.80). Although not hypothesized, there was a significant two-way interaction between fairness and status F (1,1) = 46.325, p <.05 (see Figure 5). When the plan was fair, participants preferred plans applied to high status positions to plans applied to low status positions. However, when the plan was unfair, participants preferred plans applied to low status positions than they did to plans applied to high status positions. These differences were not large enough to produce significant LSDs. It was hypothesized that the race of target and the prejudice level of the participant would qualify the main effect found for fairness. Non-racists would not be affected by the race of the target but modern racists would oppose an unfair affirmative action plan more when the target was Black than when the target was White. This three
38 way interaction between target race, fairness of plan and prejudice level did approach significance F (1,1) = 59.49, p = .082 (see Figure 6). Planned comparisons were subsequently used to examine the differences between cell means. 05101520253035404550Fair UnfairFairness of planAffirmative Action Attitude s High status Low Status Figure 5. Interaction between fairness of plan and status of position. Modern Racists051015202530354045Fair UnfairFairness of planAffirmative Action Attitudes Black White Non-racists05101520253035404550Fair UnfairFairness of planAffirmative Action Attitudes Black White Figure 6. Interaction between race, fairness and prejudice level
39 The pattern of results did not conform to expectations. The differences in means for non-racists when the target was Black vs. White in the fair condition approached significance, t (8) = -1.87, p = .099, with plans targeted toward Whites being more popular than plans targeted toward Blacks ( Ms = 46.89 vs. 41.14). In addition, contrary to expectations, the small difference in affirmative action attitudes observed for modern racists when the target was Black ( M = 12.71) vs. when the target was White ( M = 17.14) was not significant, t (8) = -1.44, p > .05. According to the last hypothesis, hypothesis 2c, modern racists were expected to have less positive attitudes toward an affirmative action plan when the plan was unfair, the target Black and the position high status than when the plan was unfair, the target Black and the position low status. Since these were the only cells of interest in the four-way interaction, a t-test was used to examine the difference between these means. This hypothesis was not supported. There was no difference in affirmative action attitudes for modern racists when the plan was unfair, the target Black and high status ( M = 13.3) and when the plan was unfair, the target Black and the plan low status ( M = 12.13), t (16) = .425, p < .05. DISCUSSION General Affirmative Action Attitudes In the first phase of the study, where general affirmative action information was presented, a main effect of prejudice and an interaction between the manipulation of attention to the message and participant prejudice level were expected. With regard to the former, it was expected that old-fashioned racists and modern racists would have less
40 positive affirmative action attitudes than nonracists. With regard to the latter, it was expected that modern and non-racists would have more positive affirmative action attitudes when they were in the high attention condition than when they were in the low attention condition because, for these groups, paying attention to the message should highlight the inherent fairness of affirmative action. However, for old-fashioned racists, it was expected that they would have more positive affirmative action attitudes when they were in the low attention condition because the high attention condition should make race more salient and thus elicit prejudice. It was not possible to test the main effect or interaction with a group of old-fashioned racists because not enough of them were identified for the comparisons. The differential effects of the attention manipulation on old-fashioned racists were the basis of the original hypothesized interaction. Since both modern and non-racists were expected to be have more positive affirmative action attitudes in the high attention condition than in the low attention condition, the data were analyzed just for a main effect of attention instead of for an interaction between attention and prejudice level. Based on previous research (Kravitz, 1995; Jacobson, 1985; Little et al., 1998 & Sears et al., 1997), it was expected that non-racists would have more favorable attitudes toward affirmative action than would modern racists. This was not the case. Both groups reported relatively positive affirmative action attitudes (the mean response was 6.21 on a 9-point semantic differential scale where higher scores indicated more positive attitudes). Since affirmative action is generally not received well by Whites (Kravitz & Platina, 1993; Kravitz & Klineberg, 2000), the positive affirmative action attitudes shown by both groups may seem surprising. It is conceivable that these positive attitudes were
41 the result of demand characteristics. This is possible, but there were several factors that would argue against this explanation. The experimenters were White (which should have reduced the discomfort of showing negative affirmative action attitudes in the presence of a Black person). Furthermore, each participant completed the semantic differential attitude measure without the experimenter present, which should have reduced the possibility of participants changing responses that were not socially acceptable because of the presence of the experimenter. It is also conceivable that exposure to the persuasive affirmative action information increased support of affirmative action. It is impossible to tell if this was the case because participants affirmative action attitudes were not measured before the affirmative action information was read. Future studies are needed to examine attitude change as a result of exposure to accurate and persuasive affirmative action information. In retrospect, these findings might have been expected. According to previous research, attitudes toward affirmative action are based on the perceived fairness of affirmative action in general (Kravitz & Klineberg, 2000). Also, modern racists tend to explain their opposition to affirmative action using non-racist justifications (McConahay, 1986; Sears et al., 1997). The argument that affirmative action is unfair is one such justification. Therefore, since the affirmative action information was worded to dispel any notions of unfairness, it is understandable that, without that justification, modern racists had attitudes similar to those of non-racists. The attention manipulation was unsuccessful in creating differences in affirmative action attitudes. This was surprising because the attention manipulations were the basis of a persuasive attempt based on the well-established Elaboration Likelihood Model of
42 persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1981). The high attention condition was designed to elicit the central route of processing and the low attention condition was designed to elicit the peripheral route of processing. Accordingly, if attention did vary as intended, participants who received high attention instructions should have recalled more of the affirmative action information and reported paying more attention to that information than did participants who received the low attention instructions. The instructions were pilot tested to ensure that this was, in fact, the case. The pilot study supported this hypothesis, so it is unlikely that the failure to find a main effect of attention was due to failure to successfully manipulate attention. The general idea was to create different persuasive outcomes based on the route of processing taken, so the affirmative action information presented in this phase of the study was carefully worded such that it would be both persuasive and accurate. The expectation was that participants who took the central route (i.e. participants who received the high attention instructions) would be persuaded by the content of the information. These participants were expected to have more positive affirmative action attitudes than participants who took the peripheral route (i.e. participants who received the low attention instructions) and so did not pay attention to the information. Again, this was not the case. There was no main effect of attention on affirmative action attitudes even though the pilot study showed that attention paid to the message presented did vary as intended. Therefore, assuming that in the main study, attention to the message also varied, this varying of attention did not result in different persuasive outcomes. Perhaps even limited attention to the message was enough to persuade, thus resulting in similar persuasive outcomes for both groups.
43 Affirmative Action Plan Attitudes While the first phase of the study was about reactions to affirmative action in general, the second phase of the study concerned reactions to specific affirmative action plans. Also, in the first phase of the study, modern and non-racists were expected to be similarly affected by the attention manipulation. In this phase of the study, based on the theory of modern racism, modern racists were often expected to behave differently from non-racists. Generally speaking, modern racists and non-racists were expected to behave in a similar fashion when there was no non-racist justification present (i.e. the affirmative action plan was fair). However, when opposition to affirmative action could be explained using a non-racist justification (i.e. the affirmative action plan was unfair), then modern racists and non-racists would behave differently; modern racists were expected to discriminate against Blacks in the latter situation. Fairness of plan, status of position and race of target were all manipulated to assess the effects on modern and non-racists. As before, there were insufficient old-fashioned racists to include in the analyses. Therefore, since old-fashioned racists were not considered in the analyses, again, the hypotheses originally proposed were sometimes different from the ones actually tested. For the second phase of the study, an interaction between fairness and prejudice level was expected. Old-fashioned racists would not be affected by fairness but modern and non-racists would prefer a fair plan to an unfair one. Since the present study was without enough old-fashioned racists to compare to modern and non-racists, it was not possible to test for this interaction. Therefore, the data were tested for a main effect of
44 fairness since both modern and non-racists were expected to prefer a fair plan to an unfair one. As hypothesized, attitudes toward affirmative action plans did vary as a function of fairness of the plan. Predictably and consistent with previous findings (Doverspike & Arthur, 1995), participants preferred a fair affirmative action plan (one in which the minority applicant chosen was as qualified as the non-minority target) to an unfair affirmative action plan (one in which the minority applicant chosen was less qualified than the non-minority target). The reactions to fair affirmative action plans were positive. On the 9-point semantic differential, where higher numbers indicated more positive attitudes, the average response to a fair affirmative action plan was a six. This was consistent with the positive attitudes for the general affirmative action information found in the first part of the study and discussed above. According to Kravitz and Klineberg (2000), Whites are more inclined than Blacks or Hispanics to believe that a typical affirmative action plan consists of strong preferential treatment and unfair advantage to Blacks. Therefore, it is conceivable that when information was presented contrary to these implicit beliefs, affirmative action attitudes became more positive. This was consistent with the conclusion made by Kravtiz et al. (1997) that procedures specified in affirmative action plans are the strongest determinants of affirmative action attitudes. Prejudice also played a part in affirmative action plan attitudes; non-racists responded more favorably to the affirmative action plans than did modern racists. It is interesting that this was the case for the affirmative action plans presented in the second phase of the study but not for the general affirmative action information presented in the
45 first phase of the study. This may have happened because, for the general affirmative action information presented in the first phase of the study, there were no possible non-racist justifications for negative affirmative action attitudes. With the affirmative action plans, in some cases, modern racists could justify their opposition using a fairness argument. There was however, no prejudice by race of target interaction as would be expected if this was the case. This is puzzling and may reflect a lack of sensitivity of the prejudice classifications, which were categorical rather than continuous. When participants are grouped based on continuous data, participants with scores at the high end of their groups distribution are considered different from participants with scores at the low end of the adjacent groups distribution. In other words, non-racists scores on the prejudice measures that were high relative to their group would be considered different from modern racists who had scores that were low relative to their group. In reality, such participants from different groups scored closer to and were more similar to each other than they were to some participants from their own groups. Therefore, the method of classification used probably resulted in participants being classified as non-racists who were closer to being modern racists than true non-racists and vice versa. As it stands, for all plans, regardless of the race of the target, non-racists had more positive affirmative action attitudes than modern racists. This is not to say that race did not play a factor in affirmative action attitudes. There was an interaction between fairness, race of target and prejudice that approached significance and will be discussed below. Race of target also had an effect on affirmative action plan attitudes. Affirmative action plans for White targets were preferred to affirmative action plans for Black targets.
46 This is incongruent with the significant main effect of prejudice because if prejudice played a part in affirmative action attitudes, it would stand to reason that only modern racists would be affected by the race of the target. This was not the case, as was evidenced by the presence of a race of target main effect but no prejudice by race of target interaction. This is probably also due to the classification problems discussed above. The fact that both modern and non-racists were affected by the race of target supports the idea that the prejudice classifications may have not been sufficiently sensitive. Therefore, the pattern of data supports the idea that some of the participants classified as non-racists were incorrectly classified. Although it was not hypothesized, a significant status by fairness interaction was found. When the plan was applied to a high status position, participants preferred a fair plan to an unfair one. However, when the plan was applied to a low status position, participants preferred an unfair plan to a fair one. Even though the LSDs were not significant, this pattern of results was interesting. It seemed as if, given that the affirmative action plan was fair, participants were more likely to accept plans that helped minorities and women get into high status positions, and so they more strongly supported fair affirmative action plans for high status positions than for low status positions. Recall also that, in this case, an unfair affirmative action plan meant a less qualified person receiving the position. It seemed that for high status positions, this was more unacceptable than it was for low status positions. It apparently seemed more egregious if a less qualified person received a high status job than if they received a low status job. These findings could also be interpreted using theory of modern racism as well as the self-interest hypothesis proposed earlier. It is conceivable that a woman and/or a
47 minority receiving a high status job results in Whites perceiving the loss of limited resources and a challenge to a status quo that is in their favor. Under the modern racism theory, though, opposition to the plan would only be observed (as happened here) when the plan was unfair since the unfairness provided the non-racist justification for modern racists. This finding, when conceptualized in this fashion, supports Dovidios (2003) claim that modern racism is more likely to be expressed toward high status Blacks. This interaction was not qualified by prejudice or race of target as would be expected using this explanation of the results. However, when only unfair plans with Black targets are considered, the pattern of results mirrors the one above. This will be further discussed below. Still, future research is needed to further explore and clarify this fairness by status interaction. The original interaction hypothesized between fairness and prejudice level was expected to be qualified by race of target, creating a three-way interaction between prejudice level, fairness and race of target. Modern racists were expected to have similarly favorable affirmative action attitudes toward White and Black targets when the plan was fair. When the plan was unfair, however, modern racists were expected to oppose the plan more for Black targets than for White targets. Old-fashioned racists were expected to oppose affirmative action plans for Black targets regardless of the fairness of plan and for White targets, prefer fair plans to unfair ones. Non-racists were expected to prefer fair plans to unfair ones regardless of the race of the target. This three-way interaction was tested but the cell for old-fashioned racists was not included in the analysis.
48 The interaction between race of target, fairness and prejudice level did approach significance. Yet, the patterns of cell means were somewhat puzzling and did not support the hypotheses. Non-racists did not act as expected; they preferred fair plans for White targets somewhat more than they preferred fair plans for Black targets. When the plan was unfair, non-racists had similarly negative attitudes for plans involving Black and White targets. Modern racists, on the other hand, had similarly positive attitudes for fair plans involving Black and White targets. However, when the plan was unfair, there was a small, non-significant preference for the plans with White targets. These patterns are intriguing, but it must be reemphasized that these were only patterns and the overall interaction was not significant. Thus, we may, in fact, be looking at sampling error rather than meaningful differences. The last original hypothesis involved the status manipulation. Since old-fashioned racists were not included in this hypothesis, it was tested as originally intended. It was expected that, when the plan was unfair and the target was Black, modern racists would prefer plans applied to low status positions to plans applied to high status positions. The hypothesized difference for modern racists between unfair plans for Black targets competing for a high status job and unfair plans for Black targets competing for a low status job was not found. Some of the findings of this study seemed inconsistent with each other. On the one hand, there were indications that the prejudice level classifications were somewhat effective in distinguishing modern racists from non-racists. The main effect of prejudice and the three-way interaction between race of target, prejudice level and fairness approached significance and so lent support this position. However, there were also
49 indications that suggested that the method of prejudice classification was not as accurate as it could have been. Firstly and most importantly, classifications were done by placing participants into categories as opposed to treating prejudice as a continuous variable. Secondly, even though the main effect of prejudice approached significance, there was no interaction between prejudice and race of target. If the prejudice classifications were entirely valid, then modern racists should have reacted more negatively to affirmative action plans targeted toward Blacks than Whites and non-racists should have reacted similarly to both types of plans. Instead, there was a main effect of race of target, meaning that all participants reacted more negatively to Black participants. As stated before, this should not have been the case for non-racists. In addition, the planned comparison originally intended to be done using only modern racists was only significant after it was conducted using both modern racists and non-racists. One alternative to the procedure of categorical prejudice classifications would have been to rank participants along a continuum of prejudice. Using this approach would have avoided the problem of not having enough old-fashioned racists for analysis. Yet, ranking participants along a continuum has its own problems. Consider the following scenario. There are two participants with a combined score of 50. Participant A scored 45 on the explicit measure and 5 on the implicit measure. Participant B scored 5 on the explicit measure and 45 on the implicit measure. Summing the scores for the prejudice scales to create a single prejudice variable would not be advisable because in such an approach both participants would receive the same prejudice score. This makes these two participants indistinguishable. This is problematic because these two people are, indeed, different and need to be treated as such. Participant B is a modern racist (as evidenced by
50 a high score on the implicit measure and a low score on the explicit measure) but participant A is not. Another, more suitable approach as done by James et al. in their 2001 study, is to simply give participants a measure of modern racism, such as the Modern Racism Scale or the Implicit Association Test, and use the scores to rank participants along a continuum of modern racism. Future studies on the effects of modern racism on affirmative action attitudes should consider using such an approach as an alternative to prejudice classifications. In addition, the paper and pencil IAT may not have been the best choice for determining the prejudice levels of individuals. According to the creators of the paper and pencil IAT, it is less sensitive than computer IATs and may be less capable of assessing individual differences (Lemm et al., 2002). This information unfortunately became available only after the present study was underway. This may account for some of the possible imprecision in prejudice classifications and could have limited the capability of the present study to detect stronger results, such as a significant main effect of prejudice, an interaction between prejudice and race, and a significant difference for modern racists between plans applied to high status versus low status positions when the plan was unfair and the target was Black. Future studies interested in determining the prejudice levels of individuals should probably use the computer-based IAT as opposed to the paper and pencil IAT. Supplemental Analyses Based on the idea that the prejudice classifications were imprecise because they were done categorically, the effects of prejudice level on affirmative action attitudes were re-examined using regression analyses that attempted to predict semantic differential
51 scores from IAT scores, ATB scores and the interaction between IAT and ATB scores. The semantic differential scores from the first phase of the study were significantly predicted by ATB scores, = -.229, t = -2.11, p < .05, but not by IAT scores, = -.053, t = -.487, p > .05, or the interaction term, = .108, t = .999, p < .05. The pattern of results was similar for semantic differential scores from the second phase of the study. The ATB predicted attitudes, = -.147, t = -1.87, p = .063, but the IAT and the interaction term did not ( = -1.20, t = -1.57, p > .05 & = -.229, t = .114 p > .05). These findings support the above recommendation to the use the computer-based IAT when assessing the prejudice level of individuals. Conclusion Affirmative action has been and still is a controversial topic. Still, because of implicit negative attitudes toward Blacks, it is necessary. These implicit negative attitudes mean that persons who consider themselves non-racists may still discriminate against Blacks provided they have some non-racist justification for doing so. Therefore, as it stands, Blacks attempting to advance in the workplace do not have a fair chance at doing so, thus the need for affirmative action. This being the case, it is important for the topic of affirmative action to be studied. Many questions remain unanswered. Knowing that Whites have many erroneous conceptions of affirmative action (Kravitz & Klineberg, 2000), how can these conceptions be changed? What must be done so that Whites consider affirmative action in general (as opposed to specific affirmative action plans) as fair and just? And finally, why do Whites oppose affirmative action? The present study proposed three answers to this question: fairness, prejudice and self-interest.
52 The significant main effect of fairness indicates that fairness is a factor. This is consistent with the work of other authors (Doverspike & Arthur, 1995, Kravitz, 1995, Kravitz & Klineberg, 2000). The significant main effect of prejudice found in the present study supports the work of various authors that indicate that prejudice is also factor (Kravitz & Klineberg, 2000; Kravitz et al., 2000; Little et al., 1998 & James et al., 2001). However, the absence of a prejudice by race interaction does not support the work of these authors. Further research that includes a continuous prejudice variable as well as a race of target variable needs to be conducted to investigate the failure to find an interaction between prejudice and race of target. If research is done that considers prejudice as a continuous variable also consistently fails to find a prejudice by race interaction, then the conclusion that opposition to affirmative action is a direct result of prejudice toward Blacks needs to be reconsidered and perhaps modified. The idea that self-interest plays a part in affirmative action attitudes was also supported by the present study. Since the status manipulation was an operationalization of the self-interest motivation in Whites, the fairness by status interaction and the differences found in reactions to the unfair, high status plans for Black targets and the unfair, low status plans for Black targets both support Dovidios (2003) idea that self-interest is a factor in affirmative action attitudes. It is also important to empirically determine how to lessen misconceptions of affirmative action because of the effects these misconceptions have on the targets of affirmative action. When targets of affirmative action believe that they were selected primarily on the basis of their race, they tend to withdraw from the task or job for which they were selected (Heilman, Simon and Repper, 1987 & Heilman, Rivero and Brett,
53 1991) and perform worse on the task than counterparts who believe they were selected primarily on the basis of merit (Brown et al., 2000 & Heilman, Rivero and Brett, 1991). For non-targets of affirmative action, the belief that preferential selection occurs results in negative job attitudes (Graves and Powell, 1994). In conclusion, affirmative action policies are sorely needed as is supporting research to guide its implementation and guard against negative consequences for intended beneficiaries and the organizations that implement these policies. Research such as the present study that adds to the understanding of why affirmative action is opposed can be used to guide its implementation. As it stands, the bottom line is this: People tend not to oppose fair affirmative action plans. Since, without information, people tend to assume affirmative action is unfair, when an affirmative action plan is being implemented, care should be taken to provide information highlighting the fairness of and reason for (e.g. underutilization of qualified minorities) the affirmative action plan. Researchers could provide supporting research on the best way to achieve this goal. In this way, researchers and practitioners can work together to ensure that affirmative action policies continue to be used well into the future.
54 References Bell, M.P., Harrison, D.A., & McLaughlin, M.E. (2000). Forming, changing, and acting on attitude toward affirmative action programs in employment: A theory-driven approach. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85 (5), 784-798. Bobo, L. (1998). Race, interests and beliefs about affirmative action: Unanswered questions and directions. American Behavioral Scientist, 41 (7), 985-1003. Brown, R.P., Charnsangavej, T., Keough, K.A., Newman, M.L., Rentfrow, P.J. (2000). Putting the affirm into affirmative action: preferential selection and academic performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79 (5), 736-747. Clayton, S.D., & Tangri, S.S. (1989). The justice of affirmative action. In F.A. Blanchard & F.J. Crosby (Eds.) Affirmative action in perspective (pp. 177-192). New York: Springer-Verlag. Doverspike, D. & Arthur, W., Jr. (1995). Race and sex differences in reactions to a simulated selection decision involving race-based affirmative action. Journal of Black Psychology, 21 (2), 181-200. Dovidio, J.F. (2001) Why cant we all just get along? Aversive racism and interracial distrust. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Institute of the Teaching of Psychology, St. Pete Beach, FL. Dovidio, J.F. & Gaertner, S.L. (1999). Reducing prejudice: Combating intergroup biases. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8 (4), 101-105.
55 Dovidio, J.F., Mann, J.A., & Gaertner, S.L. (1989). Resistance to affirmative action: The implication of aversive racism. In F.A. Blanchard & F.J. Crosby (Eds.) Affirmative action in perspective (pp. 61-89). New York: Springer-Verlag. Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Glasser, I. (1988). Affirmative action and the legacy of racial injustice. In P.A. Katz & D.A. Taylor (Eds.), Eliminating racism: Profiles in courage (pp. 341-358). New York: Plenum Press. Graves, L.M., Powell, G.N. (1994). Effects of sex-based preferential selection and discrimination on job attitudes. Human Relations, 47 (2), 133-157. Greenberg, J. (1987). A taxonomy of organizational justice theories. Academy of Management Review, 12, 9-22. Greenberg, J. (1990). Organizational justice: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Journal of Management, 16 917-927. Heilman, M.E., Rivero, J.C., & Brett, J.F. (1991). Skirting the competence issue: effects of sex-based preferential selection on task choices of women and men. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76 (1), 99-105. Heilman, M.E., Simon, M.C., Repper, D.P. (1987). Intentionally favored, unintentionally harmed? Impact of sex-based preferential selection on self-perceptions and self-evaluations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 72 (1), 62-68. James, E.H., Dietz, J., Brief, A.P. & Cohen, R.R. (2001). Prejudice matters: understanding the reactions of Whites to affirmative action programs targeted to benefit Blacks. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86 (6), 1120-1128.
56 Katz, I. & Hass, R.G. (1988). Racial ambivalence and American value conflict: Correlational and priming studies of dual cognitive structures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55 (6), 893-905. Kinder, D.R. & Sears, D.O. (1981). Prejudice and Politics: Symbolic racism versus racial threats to the good life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 414-431. Konrad, A.M. & Linneham, F. (1995). Race and sex differences in line managers reactions to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action interventions. Group and Organization Management, 20 (4), 409-439. Kravitz, D.A. (1995). Attitudes towards affirmative action plans directed at blacks: Effects of plan and individual differences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25 (24), 2192-2220. Kravitz, D.A., Klineberg, S.L. (2000). Reactions to two versions of affirmative action among Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85 (4), 597-611. Kravitz, D.A. & Platina, J. (1993). Attitudes and beliefs about affirmative action: Effects of target and of respondent sex and ethnicity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78 (6), 928-938. Leck, J.D., Saunders, D.M. & Charbonneau, M. (1996). Affirmative action programs: An organizational justice perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 79-89.
57 Lemm, K., Sattler, D.N., Khan, S., Mitchell, R.A., Dahl, J. (2002). Reliability and validity of a paper-based implicit association test. Paper presented at the third annual Society of Personality and Social Psychology conference, Savannah, GA. Leventhal, G.S. (1976). Fairness in social relationships. In J.W. Thibaut, J.T. Spence, & R.C. Carson (Eds.), Contemporary topics in social psychology. (pp. 21-239). Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press. LeVine, R.A., & Campbell, D.T. (1972). Ethnocentrism. New York:Wiley. Little, B.L., Murray, W.D. & Wimbush, J.C. (1998). Perceptions of workplace affirmative action plans. Group and Organization Management, 23 (1), 27-47. McConahay, J.B. (1982). Self-interest versus racial attitudes as correlates of anti-busing attitudes in Louisville: Is it the buses or the blacks? Journal of Politics, 44, 692-720. McConahay, J.B. & Hough, J.C. Jr. (1976). Symbolic racism. Journal of Social Issues, 32 (2), 23-45. McFarlin, D.B. & Sweeney, P.D. (1992). Distributive and procedural justice as predictors of satisfaction with organizational outcomes. Academy of Management Journal, 35, (3), 626-637. Murrell, A.J., Dietz-Uhler, B.L., Dovidio, J.F., Gaertner, S.L., & Drout, C. (1994). Aversive racism and resistance to affirmative action: perceptions of justice are not necessarily color blind. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 15 (1&2), 71-86. Nacoste, R.W. (1990). Sources of stigma: Analyzing the psychology of affirmative action. Law and Policy, 12, 175-195.
58 Nacoste, R.W. (1996). How affirmative action can pass constitutional and social psychological muster. Journal of Social Issues, 52 (4), 133-144. Petty, R.E. & Cacioppo, J.T. (1981). Attitudes and persuasion: Classic and contemporary approaches. Dubuque, IA: Brown. Rioux, S.M. & Penner, L.A. (1999). Aversive racism, aversive sexism, and reactions to affirmative action programs. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association. Sears, D.O. (1988). Symbolic Racism. In Katz P.A. & Taylor, D.A. (Eds.), Eliminating racism: Profiles in controversy. (pp. 53-84). New York: Plenum Press. Sears, D.O., Van Laar, C., Carrillo, M., Kosterman, R. (1997). Is it really racism? The origins of White Americans opposition to race-targeted policies. Public Opinion Quarterly, 61, 16-53. Summers, R.J.(1995). Attitudes toward different methods of affirmative action. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25 (12), 1090-1104.
60 Appendix A Affirmative Action Information Instructions for high attention condition: We are interested in peoples opinions of laws and government policies. In this particular study, we are interested in how certain kinds of information might affect peoples opinions about affirmative action. Please read the following information very carefully, as you will be asked questions about the content at the end of the session. Instructions for low attention condition: We are interested in peoples opinions of laws and government policies. In this particular study, we are interested in how certain kinds of information might affect peoples opinions about affirmative action. Please read the following information as quickly as possible, as you only have a few minutes. Equality and fairness are very important values to most Americans. Unfortunately however, Americans may sometimes fail to act in ways that promote these values. One example can be found in the workplace. Statistical studies show that Blacks and Whites are not treated equally in the workplace. For example, according to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission Report, less than 1% of senior-level managers in the biggest companies in the United States are Black; over 99% are White. Differences in education cannot explain this huge disparity. African-American men with professional degrees earn only 79% of the salary of White men with the same amount of education and African-American
61 Appendix A (Continued). Affirmative Action Information professional women earn only 60% of the salary of comparable White men. This means that an African-American male must work about eight months to receive the same salary that his White counterpart would earn in six months and an African-American female must work ten months. Minorities not only earn less than their non-minority counterparts, they are also promoted less often and are less likely to receive valuable training opportunities. Clearly then, equality and fairness do not seem to have been achieved in the workplace. One solution to this problem is affirmative action policies, which were created to reduce discrimination in the workplace Affirmative action is defined as a set of goals and timetables for increasing the number of women and minorities in the workplace. It is usually only employed when women and minorities are under-represented in the workplace. If it is found that a large number of qualified women and minorities exist but are not being hired, women and minorities are said to be underutilized and underrepresented in the company. This would indicate that White males are being hired much more often than minorities and women even though qualified minorities and women are available. In such a case, an affirmative action plan is used to increase the representation of women and minorities in that company. Affirmative action plans are temporary and have a specified end date. They are only to be used when there is clear evidence that women and/or minorities are underrepresented in some specific job or company. After the end
62 Appendix A (Continued). Affirmative Action Information date of the affirmative action plan, fairer selection and promotion practices are used to avoid discrimination against women and minorities. Numerous Supreme Court cases have created guidelines for what constitutes a legal affirmative action plan. For example, contrary to popular opinion, under current affirmative action laws, quotas are illegal. The only exceptions to this would be when a court finds that a company has failed to comply with other kinds of affirmative action plans. The assumption that affirmative action results in unqualified minorities being hired is also incorrect. The qualifications of the applicants are never to be ignored. Affirmative action laws do not allow the hiring of a less qualified minority candidate over a more qualified non-minority candidate. However, if minorities are found to be underrepresented in the company, it is acceptable to temporarily choose to hire minority candidates over non-minority candidates with the same qualifications. Thus, affirmative action is not a plan that gives Blacks and women an unfair advantage over other people. Rather it is intended to create equal opportunities for all people regardless of their race, religion or gender. Thus, some people believe that affirmative action is entirely consistent with the values of equality and freedom that all Americans hold dear.
63 Appendix B. Multiple choice questions asked in pilot study The following questions refer to the affirmative action information you have just received. Please read the questions and circle the best answer. 1. Which of the following statements describes how carefully you read the affirmative action information presented to you? a) I read the information more carefully than I usually read other material. b) I read the information as carefully as I usually read other material. c) I read the information a little less carefully than I usually read other material. d) I read the information a lot less carefully than I usually read other material. 2. Which of the following statements were included in the instructions you received with the affirmative action information? a) Please circle all positive statements about affirmative action. b) Please circle all negative statements about affirmative action. c) Please read the following information carefully, as you will be asked questions about the content at the end of the session. d) Please read the following information as quickly as possible, as you only have a few minutes.
64 Appendix B (Continued). Multiple choice questions asked in pilot study 3. According to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission Report, less than ______ of senior-level managers in the biggest companies in the United States are Black. a) 10% b) 5% c) 3% d) 1% 4. Affirmative action is defined as a) affirming the action of employing women and minorities b) the enhancement of opportunities for women and minorities in the workplace c) a set of goals and timetables for increasing the number of women and minorities in the workplace d) ensuring that large numbers of women and minorities are hired by the company 5. Minorities are considered underutilized when a) the percentage of qualified minorities hired is not equal to the percentage of qualified non-minorities hired b) they are placed in higher level positions but are not allowed to complete certain tasks c) they are not being hired d) they are not being promoted
65 Appendix B (Continued). Multiple choice questions asked in pilot study 6. The primary goal of an affirmative action plan is to a) maintain fair selection and promotion practices b) increase the representation of women and minorities in the company c) give unqualified women and minorities a chance to prove their abilities d) improve the image of a company 7. Which of the following statements is false? a) Affirmative action plans are temporary. b) In most affirmative action plans, quotas are illegal. c) An affirmative action plan can only be used when there is evidence that women and/or minorities are underrepresented in the company. d) Affirmative action includes keeping the number of minorities in the company equal to the number of non-minorities in the company. 8. When can a company implement quotas? a) At any time b) When women and minorities are found to be underrepresented in the company c) Only when a court orders it d) Never
66 Appendix B (Continued). Multiple choice questions asked in pilot study 9. Which of the following statements is false? a) An affirmative action plan can only be used when women and/or minorities are found to be underrepresented in the workplace. b) Affirmative action plans have a specified end date. c) A court can order the implementation of quotas if the company has failed to comply with other affirmative action plans. d) It is acceptable to temporarily hire minorities over non-minorities even if the minority applicant is less qualified than the non-minority applicant.
67 Appendix C. Affirmative action plan vignettes We are interested in peoples opinions of various types of affirmative action plans. The following descriptions did not actually happen, but as you read, try to imagine that you work for this company and think about how you would feel if this situation had happened at your company. XYZ cooperation has recently completed an evaluation of their hiring practices. According to this evaluation, large numbers of qualified individuals are available in the pool of potential employees but are not being hired by XYZ, and as a result, some groups are under-represented in the company. To remedy this problem, XYZ has decided to implement an affirmative action plan. Therefore, for three months, XYZ will attempt to hire more women and minorities. You will read a few examples of some ways XYZ might handle this problem. After reading each one, you will answer questions about this solution. Try not to let your opinions about one solution influence your opinions about another. White, high status position, fair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as the Vice President of Marketing. Janet and Michael are equally qualified for this position. Janet is a White female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position.
68 Appendix C (Continued). Affirmative action plan vignettes White, high status position, unfair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as the Vice President of Marketing. Janet is less qualified for the position than Michael is. Janet is a White female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position. White, low status position, unfair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as a data entry clerk. Janet is less qualified for the position than Michael is. Janet is a White female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position. Black, low status position, unfair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as a data entry clerk. Janet is less qualified for the position than Michael is. Janet is a Black female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position. Black, high status position, unfair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as the Vice President of Marketing. Janet is less qualified for the position than Michael is. Janet is a Black female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position. Black, low status position, fair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as a data entry clerk. Janet and Michael are equally qualified for this position. Janet is a Black female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position.
69 Appendix C (Continued). Affirmative action plan vignettes Black, high status position, fair scenario: Both Janet and Michael applied to XYZ for a position as the Vice President of Marketing. Janet and Michael are equally qualified for this position. Janet is a Black female. Michael is a White male. Janet was chosen over Michael for the position.
70 Appendix D. Affirmative action plan semantic differential. Please indicate your opinion by of XYZs affirmative action plan by circling one number in each row. XYZs affirmative action plan Right 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Wrong Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Good Correct 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Incorrect Unjust 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Just Positive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Negative Unfair 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Fair Objective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Biased
71 Appendix E. Affirmative action semantic differential. Please indicate your opinion by of XYZs a ffirmative action plan by circling one number in each row. XYZs affirmative action plan Right 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Wrong Bad 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Good Correct 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Incorrect Unjust 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Just Positive 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Negative Unfair 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Fair Objective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Biased
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The bases of opposition to affirmative action
h [electronic resource] :
an attitude change effort /
by Meisha-Ann Martin.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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ABSTRACT: The present study examined the effects of perceptions of fairness, prejudice and collective self-interest on the affirmative action attitudes of 85 White undergraduate students. Participants were classified as non-racists, modern racists or old-fashioned racists based on their scores on the Implicit Association Test and Attitudes Toward Blacks scale. In the first phase of the study, participants read affirmative action information preceded by either high or low attention instructions. In the second phase, fairness, status of position and race of the target of an affirmative action plan were manipulated using vignettes. No significant differences were found in the first phase of the study. In the second phase, it was found that when the plan was unfair and the target Black, participants preferred plans for low status positions to plans for high status positions. This finding was consistent with the idea that fairness, race and collective self-interest are related to affirmative action attitudes. However, contrary to the initial hypotheses, these effects did not interact with level of prejudice. Possible reasons for the null results regarding prejudice were discussed.
Adviser: Penner, Louis
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.