What Is Good Isn't Always Fair: On the Unintended Effects of Framing Diversity as Good Dec 14, 2015 By Sophie TrawalterSara DriskellMartin Davidson What Is Good Isn't Always Fair: On the Unintended Effects of Framing Diversity as Good Many proponents of diversity stress that diversity is good—good for universities to further their educational missions and good for businesses, for hiring talent and generating financial returns to shareholders. In this work, we examined costs of framing diversity as good for organizations vs. fair; specifically, we examined whether framing diversity as good for organizations broadens people’s definitions of diversity and increases racial bias. In Study 1, White participants preferred the “diversity as good for organizations” frame and believed it to be effective at promoting diversity. In Studies 2–5, White participants presented with the “diversity is good for organizations” frame broadened their definitions of diversity (Studies 2–5) and deprioritized a qualified Black applicant (Studies 4 and 5). Participants low in resources were especially likely to deprioritize the Black applicant (Study 5). This latter finding led us to investigate the motivated nature of diversity frames. In a final study, we found that participants whose resources were threatened favored the “diversity is good for organizations” frame and devalued the “diversity is fair” frame (Study 6). These studies demonstrate that a well-intentioned plea to promote diversity (“diversity is good for organizations”) has costs; it can lead to the deprioritization of qualified Black applicants. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy Areas of focus Social Psychology Sophie Trawalter I’m an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology. I study phenomena related to social diversity. Specifically, I examine how people navigate intergroup contact and intergroup contexts. I am especially interested in how people develop competencies and learn to thrive in diverse spaces. Read full bio Sara Driskell Martin Davidson Related Content Sophie Trawalter False beliefs are associated with racial bias in pain assessment and treatment recommendations only among White (not among non-White) medical students and residents Research What Lies Beneath? Minority Group Members’ Suspicion of Whites’ Egalitarian Motivation Predicts Responses to Whites’ Smiles Research Antiprejudice norms and attempts to conceal racial bias have made Whites’ positive treatment of racial minorities attributionally ambiguous. Although some minorities believe Whites’ positivity is genuine, others are suspicious of Whites’ motives and believe their kindness is primarily motivated by desires to avoid appearing prejudiced. Black Americans are Systematically Under-Treated for Pain. Why? News When it comes to the healthcare you receive, the color of your skin can make a significant difference, social psychologist Sophie Trawalter told an online audience last week. Alum in Action: Kathryn Babineau News Batten alum Kathryn Babineau (MPP ’13) is a Ph.D. student in the University of Virginia's sociology department, where she studies globalization, labor rights, and public and private regulation. Previously, she worked as a human rights investigator for the Fair Food Standards Council and as a research coordinator at National Defense University.