Attitudes Toward Affirmative Action: A Comparison of Color-Blind Versus Modern Racist Attitudes


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Germine H. Awad, who is now at Department of Psychology, St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN 46556. E-mail:


In the hotly contested issue of affirmative action, detractors maintain that the use of race-conscious policies to remedy past discrimination is contraindicative of a color-blind society. Supporters of affirmative action maintain that while a color-blind society may be desirable, acts of past discrimination and current institutional racism make it necessary to use race-conscious policies. Past research has shown that the demographic variables of race and sex, as well as modern racist attitudes predict attitudes toward affirmative action. This investigation examined the relationship between color-blind attitudes, modern racist attitudes, and attitudes toward affirmative action. Results confirmed a positive relationship between modern racism and color-blind attitudes. After controlling for race and sex, colorblind attitudes emerged as the strongest predictor of attitudes toward affirmative action, followed by modern racism.