I suspect: Students are more satisfied hearing the same lecture from a professor than a grad student. Diners are more satisfied with their restaurant food if a celebrity sits at the table next to them.
It might be a response bias; people may only claim to have liked the white males better when confronted by an authority figure because they associate whites with authority and do not want to agitate them.
g - If I had meant primary I would have said primary, not "largely". However, I would like to add that there's a lot of rationalization in choice, and that many of the supposedly substantial reasons for rejecting Palin are rationalizations thinly disguising a visceral reaction to her rusticity. An individual can well be the last person to know why he really makes the choices he does. Introspection is overrated.
You said "appears largely to have been" rather than, say, "appears to have been in part"; I think it's understandable that I interpreted that as a statement about the primary cause. I have no idea why you're asking whether I "dispute" and/or "deny" a number of entirely different claims, most of which FWIW I agree with. It seems as if you are responding to someone entirely other than me making comments entirely different from mine.
With the caveat I haven't read the full paper, some of the most interesting points to me are:
The regularity with which doctors place heart patients on certain drugs, for example, is a good measure of the quality of their care.
Really? I mean, is that enough to know? Bad, lazy doctors don't write prescriptions for their patients but good, diligent doctors do? I haven't direct evidence, but I'd imagine a few things:
Most heart doctors place most heart patients on similar drug regimens. That is, I imagine this distribution is unusually tight.Where there are outliers in the drug regimens, it may well be related to demographics, not quality. Perhaps subtle differences in population age, culture, or race can alter which drugs and treatments are considered most effective. (Wandering from the main point, but that cuts both to the patients, who by age or race maybe more receptive to certain treatments, and to the doctors. Eg, what if the minority doctors tended to be younger than the white, male doctors. They may have different training which leads them to prescribe more or fewer drugs. Age might also play a factor in patient satisfaction. I think most people instinctively feel more comfortable with a sixty-something, grey-haired doctor than a late twenties one, regardless of race or sex.)
Prescribing a drug may be as likely to indicate laziness as it is diligence. "Here, just take these twice a day..."
Hekman also studied the satisfaction levels of 3,600 golfers at 66 clubs nationwide. Clubs that employed higher numbers of Latinos were rated more poorly than clubs employing fewer minorities — even when they performed identically on objective measures.
I think there is another explanation for this. I think it is about perception in the club's focus on quality. For example, if you are buying cutlery and you look at one set which looks nice, seems well made and has a mark, "Made in Germany." And then you look at another which looks just as nice, just as well made, but says "Made in China." Which one gives one a better feeling? My answer is Germany. But is that racist? Does that mean I like Germans better than I like Chinese? Not really. I perceive the "Made in China" stamp as a cost-cutting measure and the "Made in Germany" stamp as a premium. I think, "They outsourced production to China to get a better deal on manufacturing." I actually want everyone to get a good deal on manufacturing, but it still reveals to me that the company was more concerned with cost than with "premiumness" (to coin a phrase). And that introduces the question, "If they are cutting costs there, where else might they be cutting?"
Hiring Latino workers is likewise often seen as a cost-cutting measure, reminding patrons, "If they are cutting cost there..."
It isn't that other companies don't cut costs, it is that they may do it without reminding that patron that they are.
I don't think the perception that outsourcing production to China or hiring Latino workers is cost-cutting is either mistaken or comments one way or the other on racism, as cost is, in fact, why most businesses that choose to do so do it.
I wonder if female and black volunteers too liked white males more.
Probably. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybDa0gSuAcg.
I find the use of prescription rate, e-mail rate, and number of questions asked as proxies for quality of care to be quite suspicious. Writing more prescriptions suggests writing some that're unnecessary; sending more e-mails implies leaving questions unaddressed at the office; and asking more questions correlates with having a light case load. While it is interesting that these metrics correlate with perceived performance for some races and genders but not for others, I see no reason to treat positive correlation as correct and negative correlation as biased, and I see very strong reason to suspect that patients were actually judging performance based on something else entirely.
If Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity sat next to me at a restaurant I think I would not only have a lower opinion of my food, but also feel that I would need to reevaluate my food choices. Not sure if they would count as celebrities anyway.
I would expect that members of minority groups would not be racially biased against their own group.
However, two other possibilities:
1) They may rationally discriminate against their own race (that was explanation 2 in Robin's post)
2) Status may not be a single scale for all, but may depend on your subgroup. I recall a while ago this idea, or something like it, was popular on the economics blogs. So a black person who prefers black businesses may be applying his own sense that blacks are higher status than whites.
What do you think would happen if the study subjects were themselves minorities? I would expect that members of minority groups would not be racially biased against their own group. However they may share a perception that white males are higher status then members of their group. This might allow distinguishing the two explanations.
Doug S, thanks for the link to the paper it is certainly very thorough.
Clearly a bias exists in American people that is now correlated (thanks to the report) to significant returns for Fortune 500 companies. The report makes a brash statement that this is unacceptable.
The implication is that if a large chain store were to sack all their low-status employees (btw, I simply despise that term used in the report) and employ white guys, then the companies revenues would increase. Surely then, the successful stores across America must be full of white guys? I have no empirical evidence to know if that is true or not. It would seem from the report that the only reason these stores have low-status (Agh) employees is because of legal or moral reasons, not because it makes good business sense!
It does cite a paper that bias's may exist because they reflect a truth. However the report says nothing about how the discovered bias may correlate with some measure of overall quality that is perceivable. Let's face it, even the report broadly classifies Latino's, women and African American's as low-status.
Training people to be more objective when taking such a survey would not suddenly improve the education system for low-status (Agh) individuals. In fact it would simply be another cover up of underlying bias's.
I can't see that this report does anything to help the situation as any savvy business person reading this will simply believe that perception is reality, rewarding staff accordingly, until perception changes.
Is this not trying to wag the dog by the tail?
Control for sex and gender and see if other status information causes similar effects?
g - I am not making an assertion about what was the primary cause, but about what was a factor. And even if it was no factor at all, do you dispute my claim that Palin is in the eyes of many low status, and Obama high? Do you dispute the related claim that one's accent affects one's perceived status? Do you dispute the related claim that one's educational background affects one's status by means which only partly relate to the education one received (e.g. do you dispute that who you know has a great effect on your prospects and that Harvard and Yale are a great way to know the right people)? Do you dispute that a great part of the effectiveness of a speech is not the content but the style (not just accent but other markers of status)? Do you dispute that many look upon certain kinds of Christians with contempt, this assigning them low status? Do you deny that certain interests, hobbies, and manners of dress are considered higher or lower status, and that Palin exhibits many low status markers? Do you deny that one can get the news pretty much anywhere (check out Google News to observe the massive redundancy) and that the point of asking what papers a person reads is probably in large part to obtain additional status markers? Do you deny that terms such as "redneck", "trailer park trash", "flyover country", relegate the people and areas so labeled to low status? That last point is not specifically about Palin but is to illustrate the larger point that it is not so simple as white=high, black=low.
This got me thinking about politics. Does any of this cause you to worry about democracy? If people continue to prefer to affiliate with the most prestigious figure they're presented with (or, if you're averse to the assumption at the end of this article, if people simply prefer to affiliate with white males), then doesn't this potentially say something very negative about voting habits?
I don't find your analysis of Obama's success and Palin's failure perfectly convincing; it seems to me that there are other (more obvious) possible causes that can't be ruled out in each case.
The thing that interests me here isn't the difference in what standard of care people thought they were getting from high-status versus low-status doctors (if indeed status is they key thing here) but the difference in how much their assessment was affected by real differences in quality.
Why should the perceived quality of care from low-status (or out-group, or possibly-benefiting-from-affirmative-action, or poorer, or whatever) doctors vary *inversely* with the actual quality of care?
Given that an African-American is the President of the United States and that the decision appears largely to have been a reaction to his perceived status rather than a comprehension of his advocated policies, and given that the rejection of Sarah Palin appears largely to have been a problem with her social status, we may want to review the assumption that "African Americans" are low status and "whites" are high status.