You'll have to explain this further. The stereotype threat exists -- it is real. It affects a significant amount of black candidates (as these studies demonstrate). I already agreed with you that AA is not an ideal blanket solution, but considering that a significant proportion of this demographic is affected by the problem, I think the solution is reasonable.
Quote from: Miss P on July 11, 2006, 11:47:32 PMAlso, if my point was minor, your point was both deeply flawed and minor.That's the nerdiest thing I've ever seen you type. In conclusion, my slide rule is bigger than yours.
Also, if my point was minor, your point was both deeply flawed and minor.
1. Why is it better to add affirmative action rather than remove emphasis on the LSAT?
2. but so were Irish, Italian, Jewish, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean immigrants at one time or another, all of which don’t seem to be in need of affirmative action.
3. I think you have yet to prove this [ that the stereotype threat operates wrt URMs & the LSAT in particular]. I don’t find sitting a group [of] women down and saying, “alright we’re going to see if your understanding of Calculus is up to the level of the male nuclear physicists we just tested,” is the same as a Hispanic woman sitting down to take the LSAT without a similar pronouncement.
The studies indicated the stereotype threat affects certain candidates for certain aptitudes under certain conditions and when that prime is removed, the threat no longer exists. There are three variables involved here, and I haven't seen any discussion of these relevant to the aptitudes and conditions of the LSAT.For example, the threat of black subjests was removed by stating it was a psychological rather than skills based assessment. Would you be willing to place wagers on an LSAT-style experiment where candidates were told the test was a psychological assessment? According to the OP's studies and based solely on the significance of the stereothreat attributed as justification for AA, the black-white gap in performance could be removed. If it doesn't normalize the stereotype threat is shown to be lacking in significance and the justification for AA on that basis falls apart. I certainly wouldn't bet on it normalizing.
4. Which should be rectified in Graduate school why? Why not preschool or high school or undergrad or post-grad or on a non-academic level all together? Will there be any negative impact from trying to fix it here, is this a symptom of something else we’re missing earlier that with only be superficially fixed at this point? Are there better ways to do this that will cause fewer problems? Etc.
5. You’re calculations are problematic, because you demarcate along broad racial lines instead of narrow ones. For example, if you looked at blacks from Caribbean ancestry you’d probably see little need for affirmative action, but if you looked at whites of Scottish ancestry you’d probably say that minorities need 10-15 point advantages on the LSAT. How would you explain Caribbean blacks “resistance” to the stereotype threat by the way?
“Well, it turns out that they do actually look at the files of quite a number of applicants. Here’s how we can tell: Linda Wightman of LSAC did an empirical study and found: “In general, white applicants with higher pre-admission academic credentials had already been denied admission in favor of lower-credentialed white applicants, because of nonacademic factors in their application, or were admitted and decided not to attend that school.” Read that again. It’s important.”
“Something tells me “non-academic factors” may have to do with legacy admissions (which aren’t on trial here) and in any case it isn’t clear enough what she means for me to take a definitive stand on it.”
Despite introducing it as a thread, im not convinced the OP has a firm understanding of the stereotype threat. It is discussed as if it were a mystical force, providing an omnibus generalization for whatever conclusion that he fancies, when in fact the threats can be dissected to individuals internalized beliefs rather than a mechanism of transported racism imposed by one group onto another.Secondly, he cites LSAT differences as the basis of the stereotype threat, as if the LSAT number differences are substantial proof. The irony is he then proceeds to identify how useless LSAT scores are when evaluating intra/interstate/women and minority groups. If the numbers or so meaningless, why would you rely on them so heavily as proof for this nefarious stereotype threat?Finally, assuming the stereotype threat exists and was present on the LSAT, shouldn't the stereotype fall hardest on Asians? Most Asian stereotypes are predicated on language dysfunction and poor communication skills, what the LSAT tests heavily.
7. I completely agree with Red that schools should be more holistic and less dependent on the LSAT as an absolute measure of a person's intellect, but nowhere in this whole stereotype threat babble does she say why schools should consider race as any portion of this holistic picture. Why not consider family background or socioeconomic status instead of race? The reason of course is that no law school brags about having 30% of their applicants from single-parent homes, but they are careful to have a high enough percentage of minorities as to not embarass themselves. But I think you (and possibly red) are showing great naivete about the way affirmative action "as it stands" actually operates. You may like to think that adcoms are huddled in a room somewhere contemplating the immense suffering of their law school's applicants, but the truth is that elite schools like Harvard are much more likely to admit a URM with borderline numbers above a poor white kid with similar numbers, simply because of the color of the applicants' skin. You might like to think that the poor white kid will get a "holistic" approach, but in reality the school must maintain a certain percentage of blacks/hispanics and has no such mandate about the percentage of poor people it must admit. I understand what you're saying, but you are overlooking the obvious. If you were really concerned about evening out advantages and disadvantages, you would embrace SES-based AA and not race-based AA. If adcoms gave more weight to applicants who had underprivileged backgrounds (as I believe they should) and ignored race, blacks would probably still benefit (since more blacks than whites are poor). But under this system of SES-based AA the unfairness of admitting Colin Powell's grandson over a poor white kid would be removed.
“However, your argument here, as it's stated, seems to be completely overlooking the basis of red.'s argument: that race, in and of itself, can have a major deleterious effect on an applicant before the cycle even begins (while getting an education, writing the LSAT, etc.). This is one area that SES-based AA cannot take into account. This is the basis of the argument put forth in this thread. “
MaraudingJ, it seems that everyone (including red) agrees that not all URM's suffer from this stereotype threat; in fact, even assuming the threat is indeed real, the threat obviously affects different blacks in different ways (how else to explain black people getting above 174?). Once it is established that different URM's are affected differently by the stereotype threat, using the stereotype threat as a valid reason for race-based AA becomes just another stereotype itself. Also, there is no reason to think that other classes of people (poor people, people from Arkansas, people from community colleges) aren't affected by the stereotype threat as well. It would be impossible to thoroughly research all the ways different groups of people might be psychologically affected by various generalizations. Therefore, the best way to assess LSAT scores is not to point to psychological research regarding decreased self-esteem of certain groups, but to take into account SES status and ignore psychological reasons why someone might not score well on the LSAT (since there is a plethora of such reasons, and all the members of a particular race cannot possibly share them all).
I will continue to make this point. The problem is in societal attitudes about minorities; it is not in the test. There is no evidence that the LSAT is a poor or biased test.Also note: If you accept red's argument, which I do in part, you realize that the better the LSAT got, the more the stark the so-called "stereotype threat" would become. Presumably, if everyone universally acknowledged that the LSAT was a massive determining factor in law school success, the psychological pressure of stereotypes would be even more pronounced.