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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

To date, most research on workplace discrimination has focused on the targets of discrimination, but there is a growing body of literature examining the impact of discrimination from the perpetrators’ perspective. Because of social and legal pressures, perpetrators not only tend to deny accusations of discrimination but also are apt to avoid interacting with stigmatized individuals. Perpetrators’ initial responses to being confronted about discrimination often include negative affective and cognitive reactions, which depend on who confronts them and how accusations are framed. Research has also shown that perpetrators of discrimination also suffer from a depletion of cognitive resources and memory when interacting with stigmatized individuals, because of the efforts made to not appear biased in interactions. Lastly, perpetrators often wish to be perceived as nonprejudiced, so they are motivated to mitigate the discomfort of discrimination through denial.

Keywords: reaction, alleged discrimination, denial, negative affect, cognitive depletion, motivation, discriminate, perpetrators

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