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Objectivity Interrogation of Racial Scholarship in Psychology and Management (WP-24-09)

Brittany Torrez, Cydney Dupree, and Michael Kraus

Scholars of color remain underrepresented in US institutions in academia. In this paper, the researchers will examine one factor that contributes to their continued marginalization in psychology and management: the scientific method’s commitment to traditional notions of objectivity. Torrez, Dupree, and Kraus argue that objectivity—defined as practices and policies rooted in the heightened value placed on a research process that is ostensibly free from bias—is central to the prominence of primarily White scholarship in psychology and management research and remains central to knowledge production. To investigate this, they employ a mixed-methods approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative data, to codify how scholars of color experience objectivity interrogations, or written and verbal questioning in academic contexts that implicate their scientific rigor. They also identify how scholars of color engage in objectivity armoring, or self-presentational strategies (toning down and stepping up), employed by these scholars to contend with these interrogations. Finally, the researchers reveal these toning down processes in language use within publications on racial scholarship. Overall, these studies reveal the unique challenges scholars of color face to legitimize and validate their work on race and racism within predominantly White institutions and disciplines.

Brittany Torrez, Organizations and Management, Yale University 

Cydney Dupree, Associate Professor, School of Management, University College London

Michael Kraus, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale University, and IPR Adjunct

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