Law School Discussion

Why Affirmative Action is Justified

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #510 on: March 26, 2007, 02:20:27 PM »
Even the authors of this study have acknowledged that stereotype threat can affect any group.
"Empirical support for our contention that stereotype threat can affect the
member of nearly any stereotyped social group is now abundant."
 Are we supposed to account for sterotype threat in every single test situation when there is a likelihood that one of the groups might feel sterotype threat?   Seems a little silly to me.

http://www.drl.tcu.edu/PoB/PoB_Lectures/social_cognition/stereotypes/Stereotype_Threat.pdf

Why would it be "silly" to account for stereotype threat in high-stakes testing situations?

Yes.  In any event, how is it sillier than knowing about the possibility or existence of the stereotype threat and nonetheless using the results of those tests, without adjustment, as the central criterion in admissions or other decisions?

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #511 on: March 26, 2007, 06:02:06 PM »
I know you're trying to sound intelligent, and on the face of it, you succeed.  There's a but though, and it's a big old but, and that is, YOU ARE TALKING PRETENTIOUS DRIVEL.  What about the po' white folks?   AA is about skin color.  I'm so sorry your ancestors were enslaved.  Oh no, you had to swim the Rio Grande, oops, then let me sacrifice common sense on the altar of political correctness.  Let me right the wrongs of history.  Do I want to get into a big diatribe on why it all sucks?  Don't think so....I despise your celebration of the mediocre.

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #512 on: March 26, 2007, 06:10:15 PM »
I know you're trying to sound intelligent, and on the face of it, you succeed.  There's a but though, and it's a big old but, and that is, YOU ARE TALKING PRETENTIOUS DRIVEL.  What about the po' white folks?   AA is about skin color.  I'm so sorry your ancestors were enslaved.  Oh no, you had to swim the Rio Grande, oops, then let me sacrifice common sense on the altar of political correctness.  Let me right the wrongs of history.  Do I want to get into a big diatribe on why it all sucks?  Don't think so....I despise your celebration of the mediocre.

You're worthless.

And moreover, your trollish hyperbole is hackneyed. Guess what: you didn't get into your dream school because you didn't do well in school. I'm sure with a little effort you can figure out why.

You're being just as ridiculous as the person you're responding to.  HIs hyperbole is matched by yours, and nothing gets solved.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #513 on: March 26, 2007, 06:15:14 PM »
I know you're trying to sound intelligent, and on the face of it, you succeed.  There's a but though, and it's a big old but, and that is, YOU ARE TALKING PRETENTIOUS DRIVEL.  I DISAGREE WITH YOU AND I CAN WRITE IN ALL CAPS!!!

i agree that being from an economically disadvantaged background should help white candidates.

Don't we all.  And isn't that what the diversity essays, the sections on parental education and employment, the grid about hours of work/week during school, and the check boxes for being the first in one's family to attend college or graduate/professional school are for?

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #514 on: March 26, 2007, 06:25:20 PM »
dipshittedness...God love ya'.  Y'all are funny.  I've no empirical data to back this up, but I've noticed that most of the people with low LSATs who get into the top schools seem to identify themselves as minorities.  Then again, maybe also they were the first ones to go to college, etc, because I'm sure that's what won them that place.  I know y'all wish me luck when I apply to U.T. this year.  Go Longhorns.   Gotta drop a level old girl.

Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #515 on: March 26, 2007, 06:27:40 PM »
Even the authors of this study have acknowledged that stereotype threat can affect any group.
"Empirical support for our contention that stereotype threat can affect the
member of nearly any stereotyped social group is now abundant."
 Are we supposed to account for sterotype threat in every single test situation when there is a likelihood that one of the groups might feel sterotype threat?   Seems a little silly to me.

http://www.drl.tcu.edu/PoB/PoB_Lectures/social_cognition/stereotypes/Stereotype_Threat.pdf

Why would it be "silly" to account for stereotype threat in high-stakes testing situations?

The stress in my statement should be on "every, single test situation" and not on "silly", so I'd like you to respond accordingly.  I don't think sterotype threat justifies AA in the way you'd like it to.  I think it replicates it in some sense. 
Some URMS underperform due to stereotype threat. Others are unaffected by it.
Some ORMS underperform due to sterotype threat.  Others are unaffected by it.
You think stereotype threat may explain the disparity in performance.  It may, and let's say for the sake of argument that it does.  Those affected by sterotype threat should be given a leg up in admissions.  Alright.  My problem is in the application of this theory.
Taken into account steroetype threat, underperforming black are given a leg up, but so are other blacks because they are a part of the larger group that is affected by stereotype threat.  Underperforming whites are not given a leg up ecause they are part of a larger group that is not thought to be much affected by sterotype threat. For me, ideally,the aim of AA should be identify and assist those who need help, not just assist everyone in a group simply because they look like those who need help.  If stereotype threat is a problem, then those blacks, latinos, native americans, older applicants, and poor whites that need it should be assisted.  Your using the concept of sterotype threat to justify a system which only helps some of those people.  The article I posted, which is a follow-up of the one you posted,  shows some support for my claim   

Hank Rearden

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #516 on: March 26, 2007, 06:38:06 PM »
dipshittedness...God love ya'.  Y'all are funny.  I've no empirical data to back this up, but I've noticed that most of the people with low LSATs who get into the top schools seem to identify themselves as minorities.  Then again, maybe also they were the first ones to go to college, etc, because I'm sure that's what won them that place.  I know y'all wish me luck when I apply to U.T. this year.  Go Longhorns.   Gotta drop a level old girl.

Figures.

 >:( >:(

Archival and I are NOT pleased. 

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #517 on: March 26, 2007, 06:42:53 PM »
i hope you're addressing this to eastend and not me, because i was agreeing with it and not saying i wish it exists.

PSA: Yankees.

No, I pretty much know what you're about. :D

Also, get a mascot.

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #518 on: March 26, 2007, 09:44:30 PM »
The stress in my statement should be on "every, single test situation" and not on "silly", so I'd like you to respond accordingly.  I don't think sterotype threat justifies AA in the way you'd like it to.  I think it replicates it in some sense. 
Some URMS underperform due to stereotype threat. Others are unaffected by it.
Some ORMS underperform due to sterotype threat.  Others are unaffected by it.
You think stereotype threat may explain the disparity in performance.  It may, and let's say for the sake of argument that it does.  Those affected by sterotype threat should be given a leg up in admissions.  Alright.  My problem is in the application of this theory.
Taken into account steroetype threat, underperforming black are given a leg up, but so are other blacks because they are a part of the larger group that is affected by stereotype threat.  Underperforming whites are not given a leg up ecause they are part of a larger group that is not thought to be much affected by sterotype threat. For me, ideally,the aim of AA should be identify and assist those who need help, not just assist everyone in a group simply because they look like those who need help.  If stereotype threat is a problem, then those blacks, latinos, native americans, older applicants, and poor whites that need it should be assisted.  Your using the concept of sterotype threat to justify a system which only helps some of those people.  The article I posted, which is a follow-up of the one you posted,  shows some support for my claim   

I'm assuming, arguendo, that stereotype threat exists and is a substantial reason for the underperformance of URMs, and particularly black applicants, on the LSAT (I'm still not sure).

You're missing (at least) three things:

1. Law schools have access to all sorts of information about applicants, and they can develop a good sense of what underperformance on standardized tests looks like.  It's not a matter of "you either get the stereotype-threat bump or you don't"; rather, everyone gets the chance to establish that their test scores are not indicative of their potential to succeed in law school, via their grades, writing samples, recommendations, and even addenda addressing scores (e.g., documenting previous poor test results followed by academic success).  Some people will get extra consideration (or a devaluation of the LSAT) based on what we know about race and underperformance; some people will get the same type of consideration based on other evidence of underperformance.

2. For some identifiable groups of applicants, underperformance is a result of stereotype threat; for other applicants, there are different, individual reasons.  Stereotype threat, the authors agree, is a function of stereotype and domain (perceived competition), not of mere test anxiety or other non-aptitude causes of poor test performance.  The people who most suffer in the real world from conditions like the ones in their experiments are black testtakers.  It's not that underperforming whites are members of "a larger group that is not thought to be much affected by stereotype threat," but that stereotype threat does not function on white people, via stereotypes about whiteness, except under conditions like the ones in the experiment (where the white subjects were told they would be compared with Asians on a math test).  I'm sure it's possible that stereotype threat does work on white women, via stereotypes about women's inferiority in math/science/logic, or on poor whites, via stereotypes about poor people, but, again, admissions committees are in the best position to make a supple determination of qualifications, based on their access to an applicant's complete file (including the information I listed in a post above about economic disadvantage) and what they know about current students' performance in relation to their qualifications. 

3. I think we all tend to overestimate the extent to which people who "don't need the help" receive extra consideration due to affirmative action, and the strength of affirmative action programs in general.  That's really it on this one.

t...

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified
« Reply #519 on: March 26, 2007, 10:03:34 PM »

3. I think we all tend to overestimate the extent to which people who "don't need the help" receive extra consideration due to affirmative action, and the strength of affirmative action programs in general.  That's really it on this one.

Very much yes.