Beliefs about affirmative action: A test of the group self-interest and racism beliefs models

Euna Oh, Chun Chung Choi, Helen A. Neville, Carolyn J. Anderson, Joycelyn Landrum-Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two models of affirmative action attitudes (i.e., group self-interest and racism beliefs) were examined among a sample of racially diverse college students. Open-ended questions were included to provide students an opportunity to elaborate on their beliefs about affirmative action and beliefs about the existence of racial discrimination. Findings from logistic regression analysis on a subsample (n = 376) provide support for both models; race (a proxy for group self-interest) and racism beliefs (as measured by the Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale [CoBRAS] and an the open-ended question) helped predict endorsement of affirmative action in theoretically expected ways. Asian, Latino, and Black students were more likely to view affirmative action as helpful compared to their White counterparts, and limited awareness of institutional racism (i.e., higher CoBRAS scores) was associated with antiaffirmative action arguments. Follow-up analysis, however, provided support for the superiority of the racism beliefs model as measured by the CoBRAS in predicting affirmative action beliefs over the group-interest model. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • affirmative action
  • college students
  • color-blind racial ideology
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Beliefs about affirmative action: A test of the group self-interest and racism beliefs models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this