Affirmative action. Psychological data and the policy debates

Am Psychol. 2003 Feb;58(2):93-115. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.58.2.93.


The authors bring psychological research to bear on an examination of the policy of affirmative action. They argue that data from many studies reveal that affirmative action as a policy has more benefits than costs. Although the majority of pro-affirmative action arguments in the social sciences stress diversity, the authors' argument focuses on issues of merit. The merit-based argument, grounded in empirical studies, concludes that the policy of affirmative action conforms to the American ideal of fairness and is a necessary policy.

Publication types

  • Legal Case
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Civil Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Civil Rights / psychology*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Organizational Policy*
  • Personnel Selection*
  • Public Policy*
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Stereotyping
  • Supreme Court Decisions
  • United States