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V. PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON TARGET GROUP MEMBERS

In this section, we review the empirical research on psychological and behavioral effects of affirmative action on target group members. The review is based in part on Turner and Pratkanis (1994a). This research has included three categories of outcomes: (a) measures of motivation and task interest, (b) selfevaluations of ability and performance, and (c) performance. After discussing empirical research, we briefly review theoretical explanations for the reported effects.

A. Measures of Motivation, Interest, Commitment, and Choice

Research concerning the effects of selection procedures on task motivation, interest, commitment, and choice has been conducted primarily with female respondents. Results of these investigations are rather inconsistent.

Some studies indicate that affirmative action and sexbased selection procedures decrease motivation and interest. In a survey of 70 women in managerial or supervisory positions in a variety of organizations, Chacko (1982) found that women who believed their sex was the reason for their hiring reported lower job commitment and satisfaction and greater role ambiguity and conflict than women who did not believe sex played an important role in their hiring. Heilman et al. (1987), however, did not observe deleterious effects of sexbased selection on measures of task motivation or interest. Similarly, Turner, Pratkanis, and Hardaway (1991) and Turner and Pratkanis (1993) found that selection on the basis of sex did not directly impair selfreported motivation for a task.

In one of the few national field studies on this issue, Taylor (1994) examined the attitudes of 319 White women, 40 Black women, and 32 Black men who said they worked for firms that either did or did not employ affirmative action procedures. Results showed that White women working for firms with affirmative action programs did not differ significantly from White women working for firms without such programs in their selfreports of job satisfaction, working by choice as opposed to money, desire for an enriched job, life satisfaction, happiness and other measures. Of these measures, only two differed significantly for Black men and women. First, Black respondents reported a greater desire for an enriched job (i.e., a job that would require a greater degree of ambition, chances for advancement, feeling of accomplishment) when they said they worked for a firm with affirmative action than when they reported they worked for a firm without affirmative action. Black men and women differed in their evaluations of the degree of excitement in their lives. Black men working for firms without affirmative action reported more positive evaluations than did Black men working for firms with affirmative action programs. Black women showed the opposite pattern.

In a mail survey reported by Graves and Powell (1994), 188 MBA graduates (61 of whom were male; 96 of whom were White) were asked to indicate the influence of sex in general and of sexbased affirmative action in past and future selection decisions, and to indicate their job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intent to remain with their organizations. Results indicated that men felt their gender benefited them in selection and promotion decisions more than did women. Women felt that they benefited from sexbased affirmative action procedures more than did men. Job satisfaction was affected by respondent sex, perceptions of the overall influence of sex in selection decisions, and perceptions of sexbased affirmative action. For men, satisfaction and commitment increased as discrimination against males decreased, remained level when practices were sex neutral or favored men somewhat, and increased when practices offered a great advantage to men. For women, satisfaction was not related to the effect of sex on selection practices. Commitment, however, increased as perceptions of overall influence of sex increased. Unlike the satisfaction measure, sex moderated the relationship between perceptions of affirmative action and commitment. Females were more committed when they perceived that affirmative action practices were advantageous to females. For males, commitment increased as affirmative action practices were perceived as sex neutral or as favoring males, and then leveled off.

Several studies have examined how selection affects task or job choice. Heilman and Herlihy (1984) found that 90 male high school students expressed less interest in an occupation in which sexbased as opposed to merit criteria was used. On the other hand, 85 female students expressed less interest only when treatment on the basis of sex was given and the proportion of women in the occupation was relatively high that is, 28% of the employees were female versus 8%. Nacoste (1987) found that women who read a scenario about a competitively awarded university research grant were less likely to report that they would apply for a job at that university when sex alone was used as the basis of the award than when both sex and qualifications were employed. Graves and Powell (1994) found that intent to remain with an organization was generally unaffected by respondents' perceptions of the overall influence of sex in selection and promotion decisions and of sexbased affirmative action procedures, although there was some indication that females expressed a greater intent to remain in organizations with affirmative action procedures perceived as favorable to women. In two separate studies, Heilman et al. (1987; Heilman, Lucas, & Kaplow, 1990) found that females' desire to remain in leadership roles was adversely affected when they were told they were selected for their positions on the basis of sex. Finally, Heilman et al. (1991) reported that women selected on the basis of sex subsequently chose a less demanding task than did women selected on the basis of merit. Males did not differ in their task choice as a function of selection procedure. In a second study, the type of selection procedure influenced females' task choices. Only females selected on the basis of sex and who were given no information about their qualifications chose the less demanding task. Females who were selected on the basis of sex and given positive information about their qualifications, like females selected on the basis of merit, were more likely to choose the more demanding task.

Three effects appear to hold when considering the relationships among selection procedure and measures of task motivation and interest. First, women's reports of task motivation, interest, and job satisfaction do not appear to be reliably affected by sexbased selection or affirmative action. Second, women's task and job choice seem to be more consistently affected by sexbased selection: Women were more likely to choose easier versus harder tasks and to show less interest in occupations in which sex alone was used as the basis for selection. This second finding may reflect the fact that being selected solely on the basis of sex raises doubts about one's ability, and that recipients may attempt to avoid the stigma that is often attached to being selected on the basis of sex. Third, the effect on women's task choice is determined by the nature of the implementation strategy. When the implementation strategy provides unambiguous, explicit, and focused evidence regarding qualifications, affirmative action and sexbased selection do not adversely affect task choice. Because only one study focused on race-based selection procedures, we cannot draw any general conclusions about effects of such procedures.

B. Selfevaluations of Ability and Performance

The bulk of research on effects of selection procedures on recipient selfevaluations of ability and performance has also dealt with gender-based selection procedures. Few investigations examine how ethnic minorities respond to equivalent race- or ethnicity-based selection processes (but see articles by Arthur et. al, 1992, Doverspike & Arthur, 1995, Nacoste, 1994, Taylor, 1994, for exceptions; see Eberhardt & Fiske, 1994 for a discussion of the pitfalls of generalizing to other demographic groups). This research suggests that affirmative action, under certain conditions, may affect women's selfevaluations of abilities and performance.

Most experimental studies examining this issue use a paradigm developed by Jacobson and Koch (1977). They paired male participants with a female confederate who was assigned to a leadership position on the basis of sex (strong preferential treatment), chance, or superior performance on a test (merit). After performing a oneway communication task with the confederate, the dyad was told they had either succeeded or failed at the task.

Heilman et al. (1987) used a similar paradigm to examine leaders' selfperceptions. Female and male participants were told they were selected for a leadership role in a oneway communication task on the basis of either merit or sex. In the meritbased selection condition, participants were told that their scores on a test purportedly measuring leadership ability indicated they were qualified to assume the leadership role. In the gender selection condition, participants were told that insufficient numbers of males or females had participated in the study and that because of their respective sex they would assume the leadership role. Again, participants were told their dyad had either succeeded (that is, scored in the top quartile of all participants) or failed (scored in the bottom quartile). Results showed that females who were selected on the basis of their sex evaluated their leadership ability and their global task performance more poorly than did females who were selected on the basis of merit. Males, in contrast, were largely unaffected by the selection procedure. Moreover, these results occurred despite the level of objective feedback concerning task performance.

It is important to note that the sex-based selection procedure employed in this study was ambiguous with regard to applicant qualifications (i.e., the purported selection test was not scored). These results suggest that procedures that employ sex as the sole selection criterion and leave the issue of qualifications open can adversely affect members of the targeted group. Certainly, one question raised by this study is whether indications of applicant qualifications would overcome these consequences. Several studies have addressed this issue.

As a whole, this line of research suggests that overt (but not subtle) indications of qualifications may overcome the effects of sex-based selection. Along these lines, Turner et al. (1991) reasoned that the negative consequences of this type of selection should be especially apparent when individuals are assigned to a job for which they have low expectations of success (such as when individuals face "sexinappropriate" tasks) but should be less apparent when expectations of success are greater (such as when individuals face "sexappropriate" tasks). To test these hypotheses, Turner et al. (1991) told 96 male and 96 female participants that they were selected on the basis of either merit or sex. Participants were assigned to a task that was described using either masculine or feminine sexrole attributes, and were told they either succeeded or failed. Results suggested that males and females responded differently to meritorious and sexbased selection procedures, and that the sextyping of the job did little to affect these responses. Females selected on the basis of sex evaluated their decision making ability, their decision making performance, their counseling ability, and their counseling performance more negatively than did meritoriously selected females. In contrast, the evaluations of males selected on the basis of sex were slightly but generally not significantly higher than those of their meritoriously selected counterparts. Contrary to some previous research, males' and females' selfevaluations of their general, overall performance effectiveness were affected only by feedback and not by the type of selection process they experienced.

Nacoste (1989) told 97 male and female participants that they were selected for inclusion in the experiment on the basis of either merit (their score on a qualifying test) or sex (a lack of male or female participants for the study). Based on a prior survey, Nacoste also selected equal numbers of male and female participants who thought affirmative action policies were fair or unfair. Respondents predicted their creativity scores, and these predictions can be treated as ratings of self-efficacy. There was an effect of procedure on self-efficacy among those who considered affirmative action unfair, but not among those who considered affirmative action fair. Thus, selection on the basis of a procedure considered to be unfair led to lower self-efficacy.

Brutus and Ryan (1994) told 84 female undergraduates they had been selected on the basis of merit or direct preferential treatment. In an ambiguous selection condition, the experimenter stated that selection was merit-based but an experimental confederate said it was gender-based. Participants' explanations for their selection varied with the interaction of procedure and a pre-manipulation measure of self-efficacy, so that self-efficacy had the strongest effect when the selection procedure was ambiguous. Self-evaluation, however, was not affected by selection procedure or self-efficacy.

Several aspects of these results are worth noting. First, feedback directed specifically at the performance of the individual does seem effective in overcoming some negative effects of sexbased selection procedures. Turner et al. (1991), for example, found that providing success feedback (i.e., scores in the top quartile) to participants selected on the basis of sex overcame the negative effects of sexbased selection on selfevaluations of overall performance effectiveness. However, this general feedback did not generalize to other more specific attributes of performance, nor did it generalize to evaluations of ability. Thus, sexbased selection impaired females' selfevaluations of specific components of performance but not overall effectiveness. This finding is consistent with models of selfesteem maintenance, suggesting that one way to deal with threatening information is to localize the threat to a single domain and then distance or "disidentify" with that area (Steele, 1992). Finally, subtle indications of qualifications, such as assignment to a sexrole consistent positions, do not seem to mitigate the negative consequences of sexbased selection procedures.

Research on more salient indicators of qualifications reveals stronger moderating effects. Nacoste (1985) asked 96 female undergraduates to read a scenario describing the selection process for a competitively awarded university research grant. Women who read a scenario in which the grant was awarded on the basis of both sex and applicant qualifications reported more positive affective evaluations than did women who read a scenario in which the grant was awarded on the basis of sex alone. (This summary variable included measures of competency, relaxation, pleasure, etc.)

The previously-discussed research by Arthur et al. (1992) partially supported these results. All participants reported more negative affective evaluations (a composite of measures of feelings of incompetence, dissatisfaction, irritation, displeasure, etc.) when the recipients were less qualified than when they were equally qualified. In their partial reanalysis of these data, Doverspike and Arthur (1995) found that affect was more negative when the candidates' qualifications were unequal than when they were equal. Analyses of affect also revealed a significant interaction of Sex X Race X Qualifications. Evaluations of competence were affected by a main effect of selection policy (with race-only conditions evaluated more positively than race-and-qualifications conditions), a main effect of qualifications (equal qualifications more positively evaluated than unequal qualifications), and several second order interactions. However, these findings were qualified by a significant four way interaction of sex, selection policy, qualifications, and race. Generally, all participants evaluated themselves more positively when (a) their qualifications were greater and when (b) both race and qualifications were part of the procedures. The one exception was Black males who evaluated themselves more positively in the race only condition than in the race and qualifications condition. This may have been an example of the selfprotective properties that can be induced by these policies (e.g., Crocker & Major, 1989).

Heilman et al. (1990) told male and female participants they were assigned to a leadership task on the basis of merit or sex. In addition, participants assigned on the basis of sex either were given no information, were told they did well and scored better than a confederate, or were told they did poorly and scored worse than a confederate on a qualifying test. Results showed that females selected on the basis of sex who received either no information or negative information about their scores evaluated their leadership ability and performance more poorly than did both meritoriously selected females and females selected on the basis of sex who were given positive information about their scores. Males' selfevaluations were less favorable only in the sexbased selection procedure, negative information condition.

Finally, Major, Feinstein, and Crocker (1994) found that selfevaluations of leader skill were affected by the interaction of participant sex with selection procedure. When selected on the basis of sex alone, males evaluated their skill more positively than females. The selfevaluations of males and females did not differ when they were selected on the basis of merit and on the basis of both sex and merit. Interestingly, somewhat in contrast to Heilman et al. (1990), selfevaluations of leader skill were not affected directly by selection procedure. Major et al. (1994) also found that leaders selected on the basis of sex believed their qualifying score and ability were less important in their selection than did participants selected on the basis of merit and on the basis of sex and merit. Additionally, men were less likely to say their sex was an important factor in their selection than were women.

Taken together, the results of these studies provide clear evidence that selection procedures can have both deleterious and beneficial consequences for women's selfevaluations of ability and performance. The nature of the implementation strategy appears to determine the characteristics of these responses (see Barnes Nacoste, 1990 for a procedural justice interpretation). To combat the selfdeprecation effect, the evidence regarding qualifications must be unambiguous in its confirmation of the woman's competency. Tactics that provide no information about qualifications appear to indicate to targeted women that their qualifications are deficient, which in turn results in selfdeprecation. The evidence of the woman's qualifications should be explicit. Strategies that provide only subtle indications of competencies clearly produce poorer self-evaluations than do meritorious selection strategies. Finally, the evidence should be focused. Feedback was ineffective in mitigating the poorer selfevaluations associated with sexbased selection when it was not concerned with the recipient's performance on specific components of the task. Because virtually all the research was limited to women's reactions to sex-based selection procedures, we cannot yet draw conclusions about effects of race-based procedures.

This research has revealed that sex-based selection procedures can affect self-evaluations of ability and performance. One obvious question is whether such selection actually affects performance. Thus, we now turn to research on effects of selection procedure on performance.

C. Performance

Only three studies have experimentally investigated the effects of sexbased selection on task performance. Brutus and Ryan (1994), discussed above, found that performance varied with the interaction of selection procedure and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy had a stronger effect on performance when the selection procedure was ambiguous than when it was clearly merit-based.

Nacoste (1989) told 48 male and 49 female participants that they were selected for participation in the experiment on the basis of either merit or sex. There were equal numbers of male and female participants who thought affirmative action policies were fair or unfair. On a brainstorming task, Nacoste found no differences due to selection procedure or fairness perceptions.

A study by Turner and Pratkanis (1993) demonstrated that performance is complexly affected by selection processes and conceptualizations of task requirements. Female participants (N = 60) were told that they were assigned to a position on the basis of either merit or sex, and that successful performance on the experimental task required either effort or inherent capabilities. Participants performed eight trials of a standard brainstorming task. Women who were told they were selected on the basis of sex performed better when the task required capability rather than effort. In contrast, meritoriously selected women showed the opposite pattern; they performed better when the task required effort rather than capability. Interestingly, selfevaluations of performance effectiveness were affected only by the selection procedures. Females selected on the basis of sex evaluated their performance creativity, their performance quality, and the degree of analytic judgment they demonstrated more poorly than meritoriously selected participants. This finding replicates many of the results discussed earlier. Turner and Pratkanis interpreted their results as supporting a selfhandicapping model of sexbased selection whereby individuals who feel uncertain about their ability allocate less effort to the task in an attempt to attribute possible failure to a lack of effort rather than a lack of ability. Thus, females selected on the basis of sex performed more poorly when the task was described as requiring effort (a selfhandicapping tactic). No such readymade excuse was available for participants selected on the basis of sex who were told the task required inherent capability, and their performance was not deleteriously affected.

In summary, laboratory findings reveal a complicated relationship between sexbased selection procedures and individual task performance. Effects of selection procedure on performance appear to be moderated by such variables as self-efficacy and task characteristics, which may affect task performance through their influence on selfhandicapping strategies. Future studies on this topic are needed. Researchers should examine other selection strategies, additional measures of task performance, and various potential modifiers of the relationship between selection procedure and performance. In addition, there is a need for research on race-based selection.

D. Theoretical Perspectives on Recipient Reactions to Affirmative Action

A number of theories have been employed to interpret research findings on recipient reactions to affirmative action. These predictive and explanatory models of recipient reactions to affirmative action draw on several disciplines, including social psychology, organizational behavior, sociology, and social cognition. In this section, we review five such perspectives.

Pettigrew and Martin (1987) invoked the notion of triple jeopardy to explain recipient reactions to affirmative action. They suggested that target group members (and specifically Black Americans) may be subjected to three pressures in organizational settings. Negative stereotypes, solo status (being the sole target group member) and token status (the perception that the employee is incompetent because he or she obtained employment through affirmative action) together are predicted to contribute to such outcomes as exaggerated expectations, assumed dissimilarities, extreme and/or distorted evaluations, and possibly distorted performance.

Barnes Nacoste (1990; 1994) used procedural justice theories to predict reactions to affirmative action (see also Clayton and Crosby, 1992). He suggested that affirmative action policies and procedures that conform to the requirements of procedural justice (e.g., those that are perceived as fair, give primary weight to merit, are used to overcome discrimination, etc.) are more likely to produce positive recipient reactions. Policies that violate procedural justice requirements induce the stigma of incompetence and engender negative recipient reactions. Heilman and her colleagues (see Heilman, 1994 for a review) suggested that sexbased selection and affirmative action policies that do not strongly incorporate candidate qualifications raise questions about applicant competency and induce negative selfevaluations. According to Heilman, programs that incorporate information about qualifications do not have such negative consequences. Similarly, Crocker and Major (e.g., Major et al., 1994) suggested that certain forms of affirmative action induce attributional ambiguity on the part of recipients. According to this perspective, affirmative action recipients may experience uncertainty about the causes of their outcomes (such as pay or performance) because these outcomes may be attributed to affirmative action rather than to any personal characteristics or behavior (such as education, ability, or effort).

Finally, Turner and Pratkanis (1993, 1994a, 1994b; Turner et al., 1991) developed a model in which affirmative action can be perceived as a form of help. Like other forms of help or assistance, it can induce positive consequences, negative consequences, or a combination of positive and negative consequences. According to the model, affirmative action engenders immediate negative outcomes (such as negative selfevaluations of ability and performance, negative affect, negative evaluations of the procedure and the organization, coupled with a high degree of motivation to alter the situation and defensive behavior) when it is selfthreatening (i.e., it provides negative selfrelevant messages, violates important societal norms, and fails to provide instrumental benefits by removing discriminatory institutional barriers). These shortterm consequences are predicted to translate into longterm negative consequences of learned helplessness and dependence when the recipient perceives a low level of personal control to change the situation. However, when the recipient feels a high level of personal control, more positive consequences such as attempts to alter the organizational situation or attempts to improve the recipient's situation are possible. In contrast, Turner and Pratkanis suggested that affirmative action induces positive outcomes when it is selfsupportive for the recipient. When affirmative action provides positive selfrelevant messages (i.e., it provides explicit, unambiguous, and focused evidence of qualifications), conforms to important societal norms (i.e., it is procedurally fair, promotes independence and selfreliance, and rewards excellence), and provides instrumental benefits (i.e., it provides indications of future success and removes barriers to success and advancement), it is likely to produce positive immediate and long term outcomes such as positive evaluations of ability and performance, positive affect, low motivation to alter the situation and low degree of selfprotective defensive behavior.

E. Summary

This review suggests that affirmative action programs may have positive, negative, or both positive and negative consequences for recipients. Women's task choices and selfevaluations of ability and performance can be negatively affected by sex-based selection procedures that provide no evidence of recipient qualifications. Programs that provide explicit, unambiguous, and focused evidence of recipient qualifications, in contrast, do not appear to impair task choice or selfevaluations of performance and ability. The selection procedure does not appear to strongly affect women's motivation. As these other results might imply, research suggests a complex relationship between selection procedure and individual task performance. However, few studies have been conducted on this topic. In sum, it appears that the implementation strategy assumes primary importance in determining the nature of women's reactions to affirmative action. Thus, as with any other organizational change effort, the consequences of the intervention depend heavily on the specific characteristics of its implementation. Finally, virtually none of this research has dealt with reactions of racial minorities to race-based selection procedures, and there is a clear need for such research.