PROBLEM: Initially, diversity pertained to inclusiveness toward historically disadvantaged groups. How far have people strayed from this original denotation?
METHODOLOGY: Researchers led by Miguel Unzueta of the University of California, Los Angeles, designed an experiment to look at how people think about diversity today. They recruited 300 people, mostly students and staff members at UCLA, to take an online survey. The subjects saw a profile of a company with various combinations of racial and occupational diversity, and were asked if the company was “diverse” or not and for their thoughts on affirmative action.
RESULTS: How the respondents answered depended on their so-called “social dominance orientation” or predilection to either maintain the status quo or decrease inequality. When those who scored high in this ideological metric saw a company that was mostly white, but had fairly even numbers of engineers, accountants, consultants, and marketers, they tended to declare it to be diverse and oppose affirmative action.
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