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The Impact of Race-Based Performance Differences on Perceptions of Test Legitimacy

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This paper examines if perceptions of test legitimacy increase when racial differences on test performance match the racial status quo or when a perceiver's in-group performs better than expected, relative to other groups. Study 1 assesses expected performance difference for various racial groups on a GRE-like test. Study 2 assesses White and Asian participants' perceptions of legitimacy of a test that either favors the in-group or an out-group. Study 3 replicates Study 2 using individuals from high- and low-status groups (Asians and Latinos, respectively). The findings suggest that the desire to benefit the in-group trumps the desire to justify the status quo in accounting for the impact of race-based performance differences on perceptions of test legitimacy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Graduate School of BusinessStanford University

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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