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Author Topic: Why Affirmative Action is Justified  (Read 91561 times)

umd blue devil

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2006, 10:21:47 AM »


miss p,

fair enough

red quote "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." Thus "...high-performing, high-ability, highly-motivated black and other URM students pursue inefficient test-taking strategies."

How on Earth did u come to thank conclusion? I think if I score low on the lsat people will think im dumb, that doesnt mean I am going to study bad.

redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2006, 10:23:58 AM »
LadyTrojan - yes, thanks.  :)

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

red,

if you didn't notice, a similiar effect of the hypertension discussion occurs with the LSAT, where the advantage goes to the majority group.  The cognitive process used to solve problems varies from person to person, but may also vary between groups.  Where there are multiple ways to approach problems, the LSAT or other standardized tests may be biased towards rewarding a single preselected process, which may be more characteristic in the majority population.  That's not to say there could be alternative cognitive methods that could solve the problem more efficiently in a different context.

What this is suggesting is the stereotype threat isn't being evaluated deeply enough.  The priming effect that you're using is basically activating different cognitive processes for solving the problem (ie: priming with personal ability versus psychological evaluation).  Yes, the effect may exist, but 'threat' baggage is probably overplayed.  The assumption that I'm seeing purported is that LSAT is absolutely objective (for the most part it is), but the selection and evaluation is normed to the group, making it objective relative to the majority group.  The methods employed by different groups to solve problems may differ (won't enter the genetic versus cultural argument, but both may be present), but the caveat is the LSAT as a subset will test the more efficient ones employed by the majority group.  That probably plays part of the role, but not to justification degree that I believe your original argument was advocating. 



Okay, this is on-topic after all. Sorry for my confusion.

Given your analysis, how would you explain the cases in which stereotype threat undert standardized test conditions negatively affect:

1. white men when they are primed to believe that there's an assumption of Asians' superior performance

2. women when they are primed to believe that men perform better at math & science (in one study) and business negotiation (in another study)

3. White athletes in a golf exercise when primed to believe that it was a test of “natural athletic ability” (a stereotypically black trait); and black athletes when primed to believe that it was a test of “sports strategic intelligence” (a stereotypically white trait).

4. Lower-class students in France when primed to believe that poor students would do worse?
(Croizet, J. -C., Désert, M. & Dutrévis, M. (2001). Stereotype threat, social class and gender: When our reputation catches up with us and takes over. Social Psychology of Education, 4, 295-310.)

It is important to note that in each of these cases, when the stereotype effect was removed or reversed, the performance effect was also reversed, and the privileged / unprivileged gap was reduced to nil.

While I'm open to an argument that relies on differential cognitive processes, I think that such a narrative would have to explain these results.

redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2006, 10:29:16 AM »
red quote "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." Thus "...high-performing, high-ability, highly-motivated black and other URM students pursue inefficient test-taking strategies."

How on Earth did u come to thank conclusion? I think if I score low on the lsat people will think im dumb, that doesnt mean I am going to study bad.

I have, in the first 2 posts in this thread, tried to explain my position more fully than in what you have quoted. I have also cited the actual studies  that have demonstrated this effect. The best that I can do is to refer you to them, and to urge you to read them as critically as you can, and see if you can identify the flaws in their methodology.

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2006, 10:56:25 AM »
one helluva thread.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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umd blue devil

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2006, 10:58:37 AM »
maybe i misread it but i nott see anything that showed that they study less efficienty because they thought they would look dumb to others if they did poorly.

"The threat made them inefficient on a test that, like most standardized tests, is set up so that thinking long often means thinking wrong,"

now inefficient on a test isnt not studying inefficiently.

also on the lsat, where time is the most important variable i can see somewhat (not justifibly though) how that can factor in, but pretty much every exam URMs do worse and many of those time is not an issue, like the SAT. seriously time isnt a factor on the SAT, its a pretty simple exam which gives u much more time than u need, yet only like 125 black males score above 1400 in the entire nation per year.

redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2006, 11:36:42 AM »
After having actually read your first few posts, I have to say that this is all very interesting.  Especially the part about trying too hard.  It's like the highest performers are the ones least able to deal with failure (for lack of experience) and trip over their own two feet when they are primed to think about failure.

Yes, I think that's exactly the right analogy.

--

umd blue devil -- I'll respond to your post in a bit.

umd blue devil

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2006, 11:41:31 AM »
true.


im at work and trying to surf/work lol.

plaintext

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #67 on: June 09, 2006, 12:41:49 PM »
LadyTrojan - yes, thanks.  :)

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

red,

if you didn't notice, a similiar effect of the hypertension discussion occurs with the LSAT, where the advantage goes to the majority group.  The cognitive process used to solve problems varies from person to person, but may also vary between groups.  Where there are multiple ways to approach problems, the LSAT or other standardized tests may be biased towards rewarding a single preselected process, which may be more characteristic in the majority population.  That's not to say there could be alternative cognitive methods that could solve the problem more efficiently in a different context.

What this is suggesting is the stereotype threat isn't being evaluated deeply enough.  The priming effect that you're using is basically activating different cognitive processes for solving the problem (ie: priming with personal ability versus psychological evaluation).  Yes, the effect may exist, but 'threat' baggage is probably overplayed.  The assumption that I'm seeing purported is that LSAT is absolutely objective (for the most part it is), but the selection and evaluation is normed to the group, making it objective relative to the majority group.  The methods employed by different groups to solve problems may differ (won't enter the genetic versus cultural argument, but both may be present), but the caveat is the LSAT as a subset will test the more efficient ones employed by the majority group.  That probably plays part of the role, but not to justification degree that I believe your original argument was advocating. 



Okay, this is on-topic after all. Sorry for my confusion.

Given your analysis, how would you explain the cases in which stereotype threat undert standardized test conditions negatively affect:

1. white men when they are primed to believe that there's an assumption of Asians' superior performance

2. women when they are primed to believe that men perform better at math & science (in one study) and business negotiation (in another study)

3. White athletes in a golf exercise when primed to believe that it was a test of “natural athletic ability” (a stereotypically black trait); and black athletes when primed to believe that it was a test of “sports strategic intelligence” (a stereotypically white trait).

4. Lower-class students in France when primed to believe that poor students would do worse?
(Croizet, J. -C., Désert, M. & Dutrévis, M. (2001). Stereotype threat, social class and gender: When our reputation catches up with us and takes over. Social Psychology of Education, 4, 295-310.)

It is important to note that in each of these cases, when the stereotype effect was removed or reversed, the performance effect was also reversed, and the privileged / unprivileged gap was reduced to nil.

While I'm open to an argument that relies on differential cognitive processes, I think that such a narrative would have to explain these results.

ok.. i just made the quote trace ridiculously long.

there are a few open questions on the study, which would either strenghen or weaken the findings.  there is the issue of primed and unprimed.  Did one test consistently precede the other (such that the effect could be learning).  Also the notion of the control group, which you refered to as unprimed was open.  In some of the cases they weren't neutral unprimed control groups, but instead were primed tests in another direction.  I'll assume this was an error in translation rather than the actual mathod used in the study.   Also what would be interesting is if one group were told they performed superior to another group, the latter group who was uninformed. 

I don't doubt the role of priming. it seems intuitively obvious that if a test administrator primed someone with 'think of a time you were a miserable failure or your dog/best friend died', the performance would be less than expected.  One relevant issue is what exactly is being primed?  Is it an alternate less efficient cogntive process? Is it an interferring destructive process?  Is it an emotional state?  The answer to each of these questions might provide a remedy in different directions: change the test composition itself, change the environment, or perhaps (what i saw as a big leap) provide justification for the AA boost. [as a disclaimer, I'm generally supportive of AA for diversity reasons, but most justifications based on merit aren't quite there]  going back for a moment, people are generally aware how their thoughts and behaviors differ in different social contexts (w/ family, friends, children).  What isn't always intuitively obvious is the processes also differ regarding the context in which problem solving occurs; although it becomes obvious once stated.  Every college student knows to tailor their approach to a paper to the extent expected by their professor, and the specific approach varies from professor to professor.  To a certain extent, they're altering the cognitive thought process to the approach used by the professor, so the chosen method is context sensitve (as in the social example), influenced by the professor. 

In the line-items you mentioned in the previous post, a similar mechanism is probably going on.  Those who are primed to be inferior may have passed judgement on their own abilities (i believe this is an underlying inference from your posts), or are internally  trying to switch to an alternate cognitive process to conform to the performance of the other group.  I tend to believe it's more of the latter, as analogized in the professor expectation.  The difference though is each of these woudl be remedied in different ways.

What are the potential primes on the LSAT:
  - a black person showing in a test center where 90% of the people are white could be an inherent prime. 
  - self identification of race before the test is certainly a prime. 
  - the lengthy transcription of the "I will not cheat, copy, blah blah".. perhaps that provides a prime that one is guilty, only adding to overall text anxiety of all takers including whites. 

Each of these could be corrected by simply moving the identification to the end rather than the beginning of the test.  I'm rather skeptical that this change would eliminate the differences in scores, but it would be interesting to see.  My interpretation of the difference between our two threads is yours depends on the presence of a prime, while I think the overall group effects of the LSAT as a selective agent of cognitive processes plays a role, though not to the extent in your OP.  certainly they may both be present to varying degrees

if my posts are tiresome, let me know.. honestly, im kinda boring myself :) 


redemption

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #68 on: June 09, 2006, 01:01:56 PM »
plaintext, I'm having a hard time figuring out what you're asking or stating exactly. Probably my fault, but it may help me if you listed what your exact concern(s) is/are.

As for the studies, I have cited them so that you can look them up for yourself. There is nothing in them that I'm trying to hide.


Alamo

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #69 on: June 09, 2006, 01:49:09 PM »
I just thought about a solution to this problem!  OK, so Red. said that because blacks and Mexicans are seen to be less intelligent than whites and Asians, the former groups will do worse on tests that are thought to measure intelligence or similar aptitudes.  Self fulfilling prophecy.  SO...why don't we take all the stand up comics that tell nothing but black jokes and why black people are crazy or whatever (thereby reaffirming these stereotypes) and take them and drop them off at the South Pole.  We'll give each person a PB&J sandwich, a bottle of water, a "good luck" and a wildly inaccurate compass.  I have been wanting to do this for years, and now I finally have a good reason.  Who's with me?!

 :D :D :D

I think we have a winner! 

Also, Red - if you think the LSAT is flawed and should be done away with, why do you respond to a post you think to be good with a cheesy "TITCR" or "176"?  Don't you realize that this only perpetuates the insanity?

BTW - This thread: 178.
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .