In two studies, the authors examined the causal loci of attributions to prejudice. Participants were asked to consider a situation in which they were rejected. Whether the rejection was attributable to an exclusively external cause or attributable to bias against one's gender group was manipulated. In contrast to the existing view that attributions to prejudice are external, results from both studies supported the prediction that attributions to prejudice also have a substantial internal component. In Study 2, the authors examined the affective consequences of attributions for rejection and found that for women, attributions to prejudice were more harmful than an exclusively external attribution. For men, however, attributions to prejudice were less harmful than an exclusively external attribution.. Results are discussed in terms of the ways in which attributions to prejudice differ from purely external attributions.
Portions of this research were presented at the May 2000 meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL, and at the June 2000 meeting of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Minneapolis, MN. We express our sincere thanks to Howard Baumgartel for the Peace and Justice Research Award that supported the first author, and to Mark Alicke and Paul Silvia for their very helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of the manuscript.
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