Concern for the in-group and opposition to affirmative action

Brian S. Lowery, Miguel M. Unzueta, Eric D. Knowles, Phillip Atiba Goff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present experiments suggest that the desire to benefit the in-group drives dominant-group members' policy preferences, independent of concern for out-groups' outcomes. In Experiment 1, the effect of a manipulation of affirmative action procedures on policy support was mediated by how Whites expected the policy to affect fellow Whites, but not by the expected effect on minorities. In Experiments 2 and 3, when focused on losses for the White in-group, Whites' racial identity was negatively related to support for affirmative action. However, when focused on gains for the Black out-group or when participants were told that Whites were not affected by the policy, racial identity did not predict attitudes toward the policy. In Experiments 2 and 3, perceived fairness mediated these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-974
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Affirmative action
  • Group interest
  • Race
  • White identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Concern for the in-group and opposition to affirmative action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this