Authors: David A. Kravitz, Stephen L. Klineberg, Derek R. Avery, Ann Kim Nguyen, Christopher Lund and Emery J. Fu

Title: Attitudes toward affirmative action: Correlations with demographic variables and with beliefs about targets, actions, and economic effects.

Source: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 1109-1136. 2000.

Two studies assessed beliefs and attitudes toward affirmative action in the workplace. Opposition to affirmative action was most strongly associated with respondent race (White) and political conservatism, the belief that it involves strong actions (preferential hiring and setting aside jobs), and the expectation that it will hurt company performance. Attitudes were also positively associated with perceived frequency of employment discrimination experienced by the target group and negatively associated with their resulting employment opportunities. Regression results revealed that economic consequences for the company overwhelmed beliefs about target group employment opportunities in predicting affirmative action attitudes. Respondents associated affirmative action most strongly with Black and Hispanic targets, and White respondents whose affirmative action schemas featured these 2 targets had the most negative attitudes.

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