Racial Prototypicality, Affirmative Action, and Hiring Decisions in a Multiracial World

8 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Stephen M. Colarelli

Stephen M. Colarelli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Debra A. Poole

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kate Unterborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Geeta C. D'Souza

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

This research examined how the racial prototypicality of minority job applicants' faces influenced hiring decisions under different affirmative action (AA) policies: no AA, soft AA (recruitment of minorities with merit-based hiring), and hard AA (race as a tie-break factor in hiring). Participants (N=252) evaluated resume/photograph pairs, each containing a Caucasian and a Black applicant, with minority applicants representing three levels of racial prototypicality. The number of jobs awarded to minorities increased as Black racial prototypicality increased. Each level of AA policy strength increased the number of minority hires, but these increases came with a price: AA directives decreased the percentage of minority hires attributed to higher qualifications and increased perceptions that hires were due to AA more than was actually the case.

Suggested Citation

Colarelli, Stephen M. and Poole, Debra A. and Unterborn, Kate and D'Souza, Geeta C., Racial Prototypicality, Affirmative Action, and Hiring Decisions in a Multiracial World. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 166-173, June 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611966 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2010.00498.x

Stephen M. Colarelli (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Debra A. Poole

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Kate Unterborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Geeta C. D'Souza

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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