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Am Psychol. 2003 Feb;58(2):93-115.

Affirmative action. Psychological data and the policy debates.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Social Sciences II, Room 277, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.


The authors bring psychological research to bear on an examination of the policy of affirmative action. They argue that data from many studies reveal that affirmative action as a policy has more benefits than costs. Although the majority of pro-affirmative action arguments in the social sciences stress diversity, the authors' argument focuses on issues of merit. The merit-based argument, grounded in empirical studies, concludes that the policy of affirmative action conforms to the American ideal of fairness and is a necessary policy.

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