Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action Plans Directed at Blacks: Effects of Plan and Individual Differences1


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    I would like to thank Judy Platania, Carolyn Lightfoot, Gayle Peterson, Rosemarie Taylor, and Gary Goldener for their assistance in running this research. I am grateful to Juan Sanchez, Barbara Martin, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on a previous draft of this article. I would like to give a special word of thanks to Toni Margulies-Eisner, head of Equal Opportunity Programs at FIU, for commenting on my materials and on a previous draft of this article. Completion of this paper was supported by a grant from the Florida International University Office of the Provost and the FIU Foundation, and I am very grateful for their support. A brief report of this research was given at the 1993 meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This article supersedes the previous report.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David A. Kravitz, 2079 NE 196 Terrace, North Miami Beach, FL 33179-3631.


Non-Black students (N= 178) completed a questionnaire that permitted tests of hypotheses about the bases of attitudes toward affirmative action plans (AAPs) directed at Blacks. Respondents positively evaluated 5 AAPs (race blind, eliminate discrimination, recruitment, training, proportional hiring) and rejected 2 AAPs (weak and strong preferential treatment). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that attitudes toward the specific AAPs were entirely mediated by judgments of AAP fairness, but were only partly mediated by perceived threats to personal and collective self-interest. Attitudes toward the specific AAPs were more strongly related to details of the AAPs than to individual differences or to attitudes toward affirmative action in general. Attitudes toward affirmative action in general varied with self-interest and racism, but not with belief in the dominant ideology of opportunity.