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Author Topic: Why Affirmative Action is Justified  (Read 90965 times)

Lurking Third Year

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2006, 11:53:02 PM »
But, according to Sanders' study, the LSAT does accurately reflect african americans' performance in law school.  If the LSAT was not accurately reflecting african american applicants' potential to do well in law school, wouldn't we expect african americans to perform, as a group, at a higher level than their scores would indicate? 

I suppose one could argue that the same "stereotype threat" will also govern URM's performance in law school. 

Well, and I admit that I skimmed parts of the thread, I thought red. and others were implying that it didn't affect grades in UG, so I don't know why it would affect them in law school.

I just think that any argument that the LSAT somehow understates african americans' ability to succeed in law school is contradicted by the fact that the LSAT does not, in fact, understate their ability, as demonstrated by Sanders' study.  I'm sure red. has something to add, and the matter probably isn't so cut and dry, but it seems liek the LSAT is measuring waht it purports to measure -- the ability to do well in law school -- and it is doing so in a fairly accurate manner for african americans, or at least no less accurately than for other races/groups.

Lurking Third Year

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2006, 11:53:55 PM »
But, according to Sanders' study, the LSAT does accurately reflect african americans' performance in law school.  If the LSAT was not accurately reflecting african american applicants' potential to do well in law school, wouldn't we expect african americans to perform, as a group, at a higher level than their scores would indicate? 

Okay, a fair question that deserves a full answer. I'm a bit tipsy at the moment, and I'll attempt to do some justice to the answer tomorrow morning.

Cool red.

LawSchoolHopeful2009

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2006, 12:22:51 AM »
I now have a non-sexual crush on red and I'm not even a lesbian  :P. Great thread red- I don't think I've ever come across a post on LSD that was as thought out and researched as this one. Kudos!

Lily Jaye

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2006, 12:24:29 AM »
Fascinating thread overall... I believe in the stereotype threat!

One point I found interesting, the very last bit about how African-Americans' blood pressure was higher during some tests. I've often wondered whether blacks' higher rates of high blood pressure and heart disease in the population weren't due to the stress of being black in this society, rather than some kind of genetic predisposition. They oughtta do a study...

They have.  Many, in fact. 
Random 2L who does not spend nearly as much time here as she should.

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2006, 08:27:40 AM »
I remember reading the 1998 Atlantic article by Steele.  I feel old.  (tag)


Im going to get this article. Thanks red.  Great thread.
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Lurking Third Year

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2006, 08:29:19 AM »
But, according to Sanders' study, the LSAT does accurately reflect african americans' performance in law school.  If the LSAT was not accurately reflecting african american applicants' potential to do well in law school, wouldn't we expect african americans to perform, as a group, at a higher level than their scores would indicate? 

I suppose one could argue that the same "stereotype threat" will also govern URM's performance in law school. 

Well, and I admit that I skimmed parts of the thread, I thought red. and others were implying that it didn't affect grades in UG, so I don't know why it would affect them in law school.

I just think that any argument that the LSAT somehow understates african americans' ability to succeed in law school is contradicted by the fact that the LSAT does not, in fact, understate their ability, as demonstrated by Sanders' study.  I'm sure red. has something to add, and the matter probably isn't so cut and dry, but it seems liek the LSAT is measuring waht it purports to measure -- the ability to do well in law school -- and it is doing so in a fairly accurate manner for african americans, or at least no less accurately than for other races/groups.

There was some talk about the UMichigan stats indicating these students went on to illustrious careers. Not sure if their grades were correlated to the LSATs but I think ultimately they turned out aight.

Well, the whole premise of the argument is that stereotype threat is causing URMs to perform poorly on the LSAT, and thus their scores don't reflect their true ability.  This premise is belied by the fact that, the LSAT does appear to reflect their ability to perform in law school, ot at least it is as correlated w/law school performance as it is for other races.  The point about careers really has nothing to do w/whether stereo type threat causes URMs to acheive unrepresentative scores on the LSAT.

Plus, I know this was discussed a little above, but I don't know if you can generalize from UMich to all other law schools.  Just gonig from memory, in his study, Sanders basically said that AA admits at the top schools -- and I'll include UMich as a top school -- did benefit from AA, but that these benefits were much less clear, and in his opinion nonexistent, at lower ranked schools.  

redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2006, 09:00:35 AM »
I haven't had time to read this entire thread, but I remember reading somewhere (Was it Blink by Malcolm Gladwell?  Can't remember) that blacks do worse on standardized tests when they have to identify themselves as black before the test.  It was a significant decrease too.  It is similar to that Implicit Association Test.  Most people, including blacks, have an implicit bias toward whites and will think of themselves as dumber when they identify themselves as black and are reminded of this before the test.  This may explain at least part of this stereotype threat.

Interestingly, this implicit bias can be lessened for either race by viewing pictures of positive black role models such as MLK or Muhammad Ali before taking an IAT (and by extension a standardized test that involves identifying race).

Yes. I think you're onto something here, but I want to unpack it a little bit, and be clear about what the stereotype effect is and isn't.

It is not so much that blacks and other URMs identify themselves as dumber. It is more that they subconsciously believe that their performance in standardized tests will be taken by others as an indication that they are. In this way, high-performing, high-ability, highly-motivated black and other URM students pursue inefficient test-taking strategies that lead them, on average, to perform more poorly than they would have otherwise.

I want to once again emphasize that the evidence shows that susceptibility to stereotype threat is not a peculiarly or innately a black or URM issue:

I want, for example, to re-cite the study in which white male undergraduates with nearly perfect scores in the math portion of the SAT  - a group that is unlikely to have an innate inferiority complex - were asked to do a difficult math test. When they were primed to believe that the test was intended to figure out why Asians were better at math, they performed very poorly, and when they were not so primed, they performed very well.

Stereotype threat, then, is conditional on the environment and not innate to either the individual or to any particular group.

Further, it would be a very big stretch to imagine that the students' true abilities are measured by their performance score when operating under the stereotype threat, rather than when they are not. In the study of the white male math whizzes, it would be hard to argue that their true ability at math was reflected in their performance when primed to believe that the researcher assumed that Asians were better at math, than their performance under 'neutral' conditions.


AND: thanks for the links, LadyTrojan

redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2006, 09:28:14 AM »
LadyTrojan - yes, thanks.  :)

Also: I'd prefer it if we didn't deviate too much into a discussion of the causes of hypertension.

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2006, 09:36:55 AM »
ok

the government can legally use racial discrimination if it goes a good.

diversity = a good.

hmmm cant that same logic be used to support discrimination against blacks?

pretty lame liberals preach about discriminationing against whites/asians in order to *help* blacks kinda funny how black families are not better off today after 30+ years of AA than they were right after Jim Crow laws ended. but i guess this means we need even more AA, right?


Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2006, 10:10:58 AM »
ok

the government can legally use racial discrimination if it goes a good.

diversity = a good.

hmmm cant that same logic be used to support discrimination against blacks?

pretty lame liberals preach about discriminationing against whites/asians in order to *help* blacks kinda funny how black families are not better off today after 30+ years of AA than they were right after Jim Crow laws ended. but i guess this means we need even more AA, right?


That's not the rationale for affirmative action that's operating in this thread.  Red. is trying (admirably) to offer a different way into this discussion.  Please read her first post.  There are plenty of other threads where you can make this "argument."
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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