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Department of Psychology


Given the Rejection-Identification Model (Branscombe, et al., 1999) which shows that perceiving discrimination to be pervasive is a negative experience, it was suggested that there would be conditions under which women would instead minimize the pervasiveness of discrimination. Study 1 (N = 91) showed that when women envisioned themselves in a situation of academic discrimination, they defined it as pervasive but when they experienced a similar laboratory simulation of academic discrimination, its pervasiveness was minimized. Study 2 (N = 159) showed that women who envisioned themselves experiencing discrimination minimized its pervasiveness more so than women reading about discrimination happening to someone else. Further, mediation analysis showed that minimizing the pervasiveness enhanced positive affect about personal discrimination. Implications for minimizing on both an individual and social level are discussed.


Foster, M. D., Jackson, L. C., Hartmann, R., & Woulfe, S., "Minimizing the Pervasiveness of Women’s Personal Experiences of Gender Discrimination," Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28(3), pp. 224–232. Copyright © 2004 the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.