Law School Discussion

Why Affirmative Action is Justified

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #440 on: August 12, 2006, 09:30:48 AM »
Re: the First Point


1.1. There is a psychological phenomenon known as ‘Stereotype Threat’

Steele and Aronson (“Contending with Group Image: The Psychology of Stereotype and Social Identity Threat,” by Claude M. Steele, Steven J. Spencer, and Joshua Aronson, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 2002.) & very many later studies have found that stereotype threat affects performance.

In their initial study, after adjusting for initial differences in SAT scores, black students at Stanford University who took a challenging verbal test answered approximately 10 percent fewer questions correctly than whites did—but only if they believed that the test was a measure of their ability. If they were told that the test measured “psychological factors involved in solving verbal problems,” the black-white test score difference was eliminated.

These studies have been replicated many times, and are undiputed, both in terms of their results and in terms of their methodology.


So... there is no problem with the LSAT then, right?  The problem lies in people's perceptions of it you say?  Fabulous.  I've been saying that for years.  We can stop bitching about it then.

PIP

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #441 on: August 12, 2006, 02:50:01 PM »
I am going to try, perhaps very naively, to propose a sensible discussion about Affirmative Action.

I am going to post a series of facts  that I believe are: persuasive; that may be interesting for all of us to think about; and that may re-orient the way in which we think about affirmative action on this Board.

The order in which I will post will in the end constitute a narrative, and it is probably better that I outline that storyline here. It goes something like this:

---

1. There is a phenomenon known as ‘stereotype threat’. It exists, it is real, and its performance effects are -  for motivated, able and accomplished URMs - substantial .

2. The LSAT is a test in which ‘stereotype threat’ flourishes

3. Holding UGPA + UG institution +  academic department + Major + socioeconomic status all constant,  African Americans receive on average 6 scaled points lower on the LSAT  than white; Latino/as about 4 points lower, and Native Americans about 2 points lower.

4. For high-GPA URM applicants to the top schools, this gap in average LSAT scores may be largely explained by the presence of stereotype threat.

5a. Law Schools have known of this gap, and of its causes, for at least 25 years

5b. That they continue to rely on a test that penalizes groups taking it under a stereotype threat, and that they rely on it so heavily, despite its weakness in predicting law school performance (i.e. a test that discriminates between URMs and the majority, and that is of dubious utility) is .... puzzling

5c.  Using a test known to discriminate against URMs is not, in practice, all that different from an intent to dicriminate; and a system in which the biased results are forseeable is not all that different from a system in which the biased results are intended.

6.  Race-based Affirmative Action can and should -- in principle -- be fully justified on the basis of this present-day systematic bias against accomplished URMs applying to law schools.

7. When combined with the diversity rationale, and with the need to counteract the demonstrable evidence of implicit bias even in the case of two candidates with exactly the same credentials, the case for Affirmative Action becomes overwhelming.

8. Affirmative Action is not a remedy for the supposed under-qualified academic standing of URMs. It is a corrective, instead, for the strong implicit societal bias against well-qualified, well-motivated URMs.
------------

I shall now try to post something that demonstrates the first point in my narrative, and will, I hope, generate some discussion. Please contribute any thoughts that you may have.  Constructive, thoughtful and intellectually honest criticism is particularly welcome. 

Before moving on to point 2, I shall attempt to summarize the agreements and points of disagreement on the first point.

I should state explicitly that I myself am open to persuasion by stronger counterevidence or counternarratives.

This is an experiment -- if it fails, so be it.

You really are a CCD!

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #442 on: August 28, 2006, 11:01:51 PM »
Ok, my biggest problem w/ stereotype threat is it seems many people in many situations could claim they sucked on the LSAT due to similar stress. For instance, what about the individual who's parents have achieved extremely high levels of success in law/Ph.D's etc.?  Not only this, but this individual also knows many friends who work just as hard and him and overachieve.  Would this individual not feel a similar stress from his family and friends of "if I do badly they'll think I'm stupid/ I need to prove myself so I'll try really hard".  This type of feeling is essentially sterotype threat is it not? This is but one example, I'm sure I could come up with many more. 

My claim is not that this feeling has no effect performance, but I claim this feeling will effect performance on such a various group of people it seems impossible to give it to one group preferencially.  Really, pretty much everyone in the world could come up with a reason why they felt a similar "threat".   

I think there are many more practical and less hypothetical reasons why AA is justified.

   

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #443 on: September 04, 2006, 08:59:49 PM »
Ok, my biggest problem w/ stereotype threat is it seems many people in many situations could claim they sucked on the LSAT due to similar stress. For instance, what about the individual who's parents have achieved extremely high levels of success in law/Ph.D's etc.?  Not only this, but this individual also knows many friends who work just as hard and him and overachieve.  Would this individual not feel a similar stress from his family and friends of "if I do badly they'll think I'm stupid/ I need to prove myself so I'll try really hard".  This type of feeling is essentially sterotype threat is it not?

No, it's not.  Your examples do not include people who belong to a group with certain stereotypes that would affect their performance.

My claim is not that this feeling has no effect performance, but I claim this feeling will effect performance on such a various group of people it seems impossible to give it to one group preferencially.  Really, pretty much everyone in the world could come up with a reason why they felt a similar "threat".   

I think there are many more practical and less hypothetical reasons why AA is justified.

What the hell are you trying to do by pitting the practical against the hypothetical?  They’re not antithetical.  That’s just silly.

Impossible?  I don't think you mean that.  Maybe "not fair", "arbitrary" or "just as bad"?  Regardless, I have to disagree.  Surely someone who's truly concerned with the practical would see that even if some group is going to get an advantage, it should be the one that will benefit most.  If we can’t stop the system from giving a group an advantage but only change the groups, then shouldn’t we give the advantage to the group taking the test that is currently most disadvantaged in law school and beyond?  I mean, practically speaking?

Mind you, this isn’t the way I approach the problem.  I’m just trying to make sense of your reasoning.

I'm sure this doesn't come off as nice but, for what it's worth, I'm not trying to be mean.  :)

OWNED.  by THOU.  thread over.

ownage my hairy nut sack. some fag posting leftist drivel doesnt mean he won the argument.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #444 on: September 04, 2006, 10:02:38 PM »
some fag posting leftist drivel doesnt mean he won the argument.

I disagree, you capitalist swine.

Yes, usually when a pinko fag says something around here, it's worth the read.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #445 on: September 04, 2006, 10:20:26 PM »
some fag posting leftist drivel doesnt mean he won the argument.

I disagree, you capitalist swine.

Yes, usually when a pinko fag says something around here, it's worth the read.

That's all well and good but what about me?

You're worth reading, too, especially as long as you keep that handsome lad in your 'tar.  Coochie coochie coo!

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #446 on: September 04, 2006, 10:38:02 PM »
Yes, usually when a pinko fag says something around here, it's worth the read.

Does this mean we're talking again?  I told you, I'm sorry about blowing you off in that bar, I honestly thought you were HD, and she's getting kind of creepy.

Everyone, you should know that Spaulding's lying.  I have never been blown off in any bar, even in southern New England.  Also, I am approximately 71 inches shorter than HD, and no one could ever confuse us.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #447 on: September 04, 2006, 10:42:30 PM »
Everyone, you should know that Spaulding's lying.  I have never been blown off in any bar, even in southern New England.  Also, I am approximately 71 inches shorter than HD, and no one could ever confuse us.

and twice as attractive, but unavailable it seems.  I was looking something up earlier and found some of our earlier interactions, where you were being deferential to red, which seems weird now.

Hey, hey this is not the dirty-laundry-airing thread!

EDIT: And does this research mean you actually thought that I might be that other character?  It seems... unfathomable to me that someone of your discernment would take pains to investigate.  He's really much smarter than me, but I have ethics on my side, or something.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #448 on: September 04, 2006, 10:52:01 PM »
Hey, hey this is not the dirty-laundry-airing thread!

Caught red fradualently-handed.

I'll be handed by your majestic mitts any day, sir.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #449 on: September 04, 2006, 11:11:50 PM »
alcohol kills germs.  i'm just saying, vodka would be good for your health.

Moved on from the rum, eh?  Soon enough you'll be drinking the golden nectar known as whiskey, mark my words.

And what's the deal, we delete all of this after we've finished entertaining ourselves, or we sully Red.'s (RIP! or...  Viva!) thread with this nonsense?  Chronic purgers are ineligible to respond to this question.