When do the stigmatized make attributions to discrimination occurring to the self and others? The roles of self-presentation and need for control

Gretchen B. Sechrist, Janet K. Swim, Charles Stangor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments examined how the goals of self-presentation and maintenance of control over one's outcomes influence women's tendencies to make or to avoid making attributions to discrimination. Demonstrating the importance of self-presentational goals, Experiment 1 showed that targets of discrimination were just as likely as similar others to make attributions to discrimination under private reporting conditions, but they were significantly less likely to do so under public reporting conditions. This experiment also provided initial evidence that need for personal control increases discrimination attributions. Experiment 2 demonstrated that targets' minimization of discrimination, observed in public reporting conditions, was eliminated when the need to reassert personal control was induced. Both experiments also demonstrated that failing to view events as discrimination has negative psychological costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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