Diverse According to Whom? Racial Group Membership and Concerns about Discrimination Shape Diversity Judgments

Abstract

People often treat diversity as an objective feature of situations that everyone perceives similarly. The current research
shows, however, that disagreement often exists over whether a group is diverse. We argue that diversity judgments diverge
because they are social perceptions that reflect, in part, individuals’ motivations and experiences, including concerns about
how a group would treat them. Therefore, whether a group includes in-group members should affect how diverse a group appears
because the inclusion or apparent exclusion of in-group members signals whether perceivers can expect to be accepted and treated
fairly. Supporting our claims, three experiments demonstrate that racial minority group members perceive more diversity when
groups included racial in-group members rather than members of other racial minority groups. Moreover, important differences
exist between Asian Americans and African Americans, which underscore the need for more research to explore uniqueness rather
than commonalities across racial minority groups.

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