Imagine you've been working really hard to earn a promotion at work. You've been putting in long hours, having plenty of face time with the boss, and coming up with brilliant new strategies that showcase your out-of-the-box thinking. When the day finally comes, you find out they gave the job to your coworker. If you're like most people, you probably feel pretty disappointed, and maybe a little jealous. But what if your coworker is a young white man, and you're black, or a woman, or disabled, or in your 50s? You might wonder if you were passed up for the job not because your coworker was a better fit, but because of discrimination. Unfortunately, you'll probably never know. This sneaking uncertainty is known as attributional ambiguity, and it can suffuse every important moment in the lives of people in minority groups.
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Written by Curiosity Staff April 11, 2017
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