A cross-national analysis of affirmative action: An evolutionary psychological perspective

Chulguen Yang, Geeta C. D'Souza, Ashwini S. Bapat, Stephen M. Colarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Affirmative action (AA) is a government policy permitting employers and universities to give preferential treatment to applicants from specific (e.g. racial) groups. We present a comparative analysis of AA in six countries (India, USA, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, and Brazil) and explain similarities among these programs according to universal psychological mechanisms and variation according to cultural-historical contexts. It appears that similarities in contextual conditions (e.g. democratic government, multi-ethnic states) interact with ancient psychological mechanisms (e.g. fairness, cheater detection, alliance tracking) to provide at least part of the motivation for the development and expansion of AA, despite its problematic consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-216
Number of pages14
JournalManagerial and Decision Economics
Volume27
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

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