Group differences in fairness perceptions and decision making in voting rights cases

Document Type


Publication Date

November 2006


Participants recruited from one Historically Black University (HBU) and two predominantly White higher-education institutions evaluated and decided simulated voting rights case summaries in which the plaintiff was either a racially-defined (African American) or a nonracially-defined (farmers) minority group. Contrary to social identity and social justice findings of an in-group bias, the present study showed greater support at all institutions for the voting rights of the African Americans than for the rural farmers, and the greatest support for both minority groups was found at the HBU. Perceived evidence strength was a better predictor of decisions than perceived unfairness, and both of these predictor variables completely mediated the effects of institution-type and involvement of a racially-defined group on decisions.

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