Cognitive limitations and affirmative action: The effects of aggregate versus sequential data in the perception of discrimination

Diana I. Cordova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present experiment examined whether or not relatively simple cognitive and information-processing limitations may prevent us from recognizing instances of organizational discrimination. It was hypothesized that the perception of discrimination would be more difficult when the relevant information had been presented in a case-by-case basis rather than in aggregate format. The obtained results provided strong support for the original hypothesis. Subjects who had been presented with company data in aggregate format provided significantly higher ratings of discrimination than those subjects for whom the information had been presented in sequential form. The implications of these findings to the policy of affirmative action are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-333
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Justice Research
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1992

Keywords

  • affirmative action
  • aggregation and discrimination
  • cognitive biases
  • cognitive limitations
  • perception of discrimination
  • sex discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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