Changing Racial Prejudice Through Diversity Education

The Modern Racism Scale (McConahay, 1986) was used to assess the impact of education and personality variables on college students' prejudicial attitudes toward African Americans. Prejudice was lower in students who completed a diversity course specifically addressing race and gender issues and in students who measured high in need for cognition (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982). A weak correlation between the prejudice scale and a social desirability scale (Crowne & Marlowe, 1960) suggested that students were not grossly underreporting their prejudicial beliefs. Diversity courses in higher education were effective in improving students' intergroup tolerance.