ERIC Number: ED235415
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Stigma of Affirmative Action: An Empirical Analysis.
Northcraft, Gregory B.
Attribution theory suggests that the existence of affirmative action programs may lead individuals to assume that a female or minority affirmative action appointee was hired for reasons other than legitimate qualifications for the job. This inference of incompetence could pose a tremendous barrier to competent women or minority individuals being recognized as such on the job. To explore the possibility of an affirmative action stigma of incompetence, 40 graduate students in management, participating in a person perception experiment, were given a job description, and resumes (previously screened for suitability) for five individuals applying for the job. Participants were asked to decide which qualifications summary corresponded either to: (1) the new black investment counselor; (2) the new black affirmative action appointee; (3) or the branch manager's brother-in-law. Participants also ranked the five candidates for how easy each would be to get along with on the job. As predicted, when trying to identify the resume of an affirmative action appointee, subjects selected resumes extreme in qualifications, and specifically the worst resume. The inference of incompetence has implications for the practice of forced integration in personnel selection. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Arizona Univ., Tucson.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (Snowbird, UT, April 26-30, 1983).