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J Appl Psychol. 2009 May;94(3):797-805. doi: 10.1037/a0014185.

Compensatory strategies for reducing interpersonal discrimination: the effectiveness of acknowledgments, increased positivity, and individuating information.

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Rice University, Department of Psychology, Houston, TX 77005, USA.


Previous research has revealed, across a number of contexts, that stigmatized individuals are the recipients of interpersonal discrimination (e.g., M. R. Hebl, J. B. Foster, L. M. Mannix, & J. F. Dovidio, 2002). Such discrimination has been linked to a number of negative outcomes in the workplace, both for stigmatized individuals and for organizations as a whole (see, e.g., E. B. King, J. L. Shapiro, M. R. Hebl, S. L. Singletary, & S. Turner, 2006; C. O. Word, M. P. Zanna, & J. Cooper, 1974). The current research examines 3 individual-level compensatory strategies aimed at reducing interpersonal discrimination. Results reveal that compensatory strategies are successful in reducing interpersonal discrimination in job application contexts and that such strategies uniquely benefit stigmatized individuals.

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