Examining the principles in principled conservatism: The role of responsibility stereotypes as cues for deservingness in racial policy decisions

Christine Reyna, P. J. Henry, William Korfmacher, Amanda Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Why do educated conservatives oppose affirmative action? Those in the "principled conservatism" camp say opposition is based on principled judgments of fairness about the policies. Others, however, argue that opposition is based on racism. The present article offers an alternative perspective that may reconcile these contradictory points of view. In 2 studies, the authors show 2 major findings: (a) that conservatives oppose affirmative action more for Blacks than for other groups, in this case women, and (b) that the relationship between conservatism and affirmative action attitudes is mediated best by group-based stereotypes that offer deservingness information and not by other potential mediators like old-fashioned racism or the perceived threat that affirmative action poses to oneself. The authors conclude that educated conservatives are indeed principled in their opposition to affirmative action, but those principles are group based not policy based.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume90
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Affirmative action
  • Attributions and stereotypes
  • Deservingness
  • Principled conservatism
  • Racism/prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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