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Ruggiero, K.M., Taylor , D.M., & Lydon, J. (1997). How disadvantaged group members cope with discrimination when social support is available. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 1581-1600.



This experiment examined how disadvantaged group members cope with discrimination when they perceive that social support is available. Women reacted to a  failing test grade after ambiguous information about the probability for discrimination.  With no social support, women minimized discrimination and attributed their failure to  the quality of their answers. Participants were less inclined to minimize discrimination when social support was available. When they perceived that either emotional or informational support was available, women were equally likely to blame their failure on discrimination as on the quality of their answers. The results revealed less  minimization of personal discrimination when both emotional and informational  support were available, in which case participants blamed their failure more on discrimination and less on themselves.

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