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AzPA Supports APA's Denouncement of the Supreme Court Decision Ending Right to Consider Race in College Admissions

August 31, 2023 2:19 PM | Anonymous

The Arizona Psychological Association supports the following statement issued by the American Psychological Association. 

Kim I. Mills
(202) 336-6048


Court discounted research demonstrating value of diversity in educational institutions

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association voiced disappointment in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the rights of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina to consider the race of student applicants as a factor in its admissions decisions in order to foster greater diversity.

“The American Psychological Association deeply regrets that the court discounted the substantial body of research demonstrating that exposure to diversity can reduce bias and improve educational outcomes for all students,” said APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD. “Scientific research has also found that exposure to diversity enhances critical thinking and promotes deeper information processing and problem-solving skills, among other benefits. Without purposeful attention to achieving diverse student bodies, our institutions of higher learning are likely to grow even more racially and ethnically polarized.”

APA filed an amicus brief in the cases, Students for Fair Admissions vs. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions vs. University of North Carolina. The brief was joined by the Massachusetts and North Carolina Psychological Associations.

“Our institutions of higher education still have a long way to go to achieve meaningful diversity,” said APA President Thema Bryant, PhD. “Eliminating their ability to consider race or ethnicity as a factor in admissions is bound to decrease diversity on our campuses, resulting in poorer educational outcomes for all students.”

APA argued that improving racial-ethnic diversity in higher education remains a compelling need as prejudice and underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minority groups are still present on college campuses today. APA’s arguments were recognized by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her dissent, in which she cited APA’s brief on two issues demonstrated by psychological science: (1) that students of color are more likely to succeed in institutions of higher education when they see others there who look like them and share their experiences; and (2) that diversity helps all students as “students of every race will come to have a greater appreciation and understanding of civic virtue, democratic values, and our country’s commitment to equality.”

“Scientific research has consistently demonstrated that campus diversity relieves many of the negative educational impacts of discrimination and prejudice,” APA said in its brief. “As the influence of discrimination and prejudice is reduced, psychological phenomena inhibiting academic success for minority students become less dominant. And as such phenomena subside, all students are able to engage uninhibited in the academic enterprise.”


The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes over 146,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

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