Differential perceptions of prejudice: an analysis of social attribution
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Studies have found disparate perceptions of race relations and discrimination between black and Asian students at institutions of higher education. A linkage is made between perceptions of race relations and attributions of prejudice as a motivation. Attribution theory is developed as a foundation for theoretical understanding of the attribution of prejudice. Both theoretical and empirical literature is reviewed to provide a rationale for expecting blacks to attribute, and therefore perceive, more prejudice than Asians. Several social factors are also identified which could serve as additional reasons to expect blacks to attribute prejudice more frequently than Asians.
Results from a questionnaire tapping prejudice attributions are analyzed for significant group differences. Those differences are then analyzed by ordinary least-squares multiple regression. Support is found for the contention that blacks have a greater tendency to make prejudice attributions than do Asians. Support is found for the hypothesis that perceptual differences between blacks and Asians are partially due to differences in the tendency to attribute prejudice. Perceptual differences are also found to be partially due to citizenship status and race. A greater salience of race for blacks and blacks' greater tendency to attribute prejudice are suggested as reasons for observed differences in the perceptions of black and Asian students. The greater salience of race for blacks is discussed as a possible effect of structural inequality, or as a cultural artifact originating in past inequality.
- Masters Theses