Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Affirmative Action and Public Perceptions

A study by researchers at Clarkson University, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and the May Group Family Fund found that independent observers will value a company lower if told that the top executives are African-American graduates of a prestigious university than if they are white graduates of the same university. This racial disparity in perceptions goes away when the universities are less prestigious or it is stated that admissions are race-blind.

This tends to support what opponents of affirmative action have been saying for years, that the population at large assumes any minority at a prestigious school using affirmative action did not get their by talent alone; unfair to the minorities who did and have to suffer lower expectations come hiring season, but it seems like the logical result of such a policy. Then again, when did logic ever stop anyone from implementing a good old fashioned social engineering project?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth Review has gone as stupid as they come. Minorities are recruited to the Ivy League with explicitly lower standards and people who deal in reality know it. How can anyone not know it. Lower level, supposedly schools don't recruit the same way. Ivy League has to have their token percentages of every category.

William Aubin said...

I'm not sure what your point is, besides agreeing with the study. Neither they nor I are saying the logic is new, just that it is shown empirically here. Getting empirical results that required participants to display anything that could be remotely construed as racism is a novelty in today's American culture, no?

And please don't be so hard on TDR - we can't help it, we're staffed entirely with affirmative action hires.

Anonymous said...

White male students are also recruited to the Ivy League with explicitly lower standards and people who deal in reality know it. If admissions were truly race-blind, there would be a lot fewer white American men at Dartmouth.

Anonymous said...

I hear you, Anon 12:56. I'm tired of all those affirmative action white dudes here.

Anonymous said...

It is a logical result, it doesn't just seem that way.

Nor can I see any reason it should change.

In our society driven by statistics, studies, and infomration based on groups the public tends to form views based on groups.

While there are gifted minorities that truly excel, they are judged as group that includes those that were able to enroll or possibly only because of the preferential treatment their minority status gave them.

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