PERCEPTIONS OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL MOTIVATIONS TO RESPOND WITHOUT PREJUDICE BASED ON APPLICANT RACE
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe current study investigated whether target applicants’ race and race disclosure in diversity statements affected the evaluator’s perceptions of internal and external motivations to respond without prejudice (PIMS/PEMS). Participants were presented with both a fictitious student applicant profile and diversity statement, posed as written by the applicant. To operationalize race and race disclosure, participants (N = 265) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) a diversity statement by a Black applicant without disclosing race, (2) a diversity statement by a White applicant without disclosing race, (3) a diversity statement by a Black applicant disclosing race, or (4) a diversity statement by a White applicant disclosing race. The results indicated that participants were more likely to perceive Black applicants as more internally motivated than White applicants. Furthermore, White applicants were more likely to be perceived as externally motivated than Black applicants. The findings suggest that methods to increase diversity within institutions may not be as effective as originally thought. There is a risk of focusing primarily on the race of the applicant. Evaluators may favor Black applicants, who are perceived as more internally motivated and “genuinely” motivated, placing more academic pressure on Black students and maintaining the trend of ignoring Black applicants’ actual potential as students.
Degree ProgramPsychological Science