Whites’ misperceptions of Black advancement: A zero-sum perspective of organizational diversity policies
With this research, we hope to better understand why policies targeted at improving equality, such as diversity policies, are construed as harmful to white Americans. To do so, we will test the prediction that white Americans’ perceive policies aimed at shrinking inequality as losses to their group, even when the policies themselves improve the fates of everyone. Implanted in a rich, yet developing, body of research demonstrating the existence of zero-sum beliefs (Norton & Sommers, 2011), our research questions whether the idea of equality, itself, motivates perceptions of relative disadvantage. This mindset, we argue, may impose significant barriers to our ability to effectively address and inevitably reduce prejudice and discrimination within organizations and throughout society.