Too Rich For Diversity: Socioeconomic Status Influences Multifaceted Person Perception of Latino Targets

Danielle M. Young, Diana T. Sanchez, Leigh S. Wilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Understanding racial categorization processes has implications for how affirmative action policies are implemented. Two studies examined how socioeconomic status (SES) functions to predict support for application of affirmative action and other perceptions of Latino targets. SES emerged as a powerful predictor, over and above the influence of ancestry, on person perception (minority categorization, sociocultural cues) and support for affirmative action among both White (Studies 1 and 2) and minority (Study 2) perceivers. In conjunction with ancestry, SES influenced sociocultural impressions, such as perceptions of discrimination (Study 1 and Study 2) and cultural practices (Study 2), which informed support for implementation of affirmative action policies. Furthermore, the joint influence of SES and ancestry on affirmative action policies persisted even when controlling for general attitudes towards affirmative action (Study 2). Results suggest that SES is an important factor in person perception, and that perceptions of discrimination play a strong role in how “deserving” a target is of affirmative action.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)392-416
Number of pages25
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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