Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Abigail M. Folberg


Conservatives exhibit backlash to surface-level diversity initiatives (e.g., race-based initiatives), but view deep-level diversity (e.g., ideological diversity) positively. I examined whether conservative preferences for deep- (vs. surface-level) diversity reflects preferences for different forms of diversity, or preferences for forms of diversity that may advantage White people. In one pre-registered two wave study (Total N = 600) I examined liberals’ and conservatives’ perceptions and mental representations of surface- (vs. deep-level) diversity using a reverse correlation task. Images were then rated with respect to perceived race and stereotype-relevant attributes. As expected, participants perceived organizations that emphasized surface- vs. deep-level diversity to be similarly diverse. Both diversity conditions cued mental representations of people who appeared more Black than White; however, that was more true of surface- (vs. deep-level) diversity and unexpectedly was more pronounced among images generated by liberals (vs. conservatives). Hypotheses regarding stereotypic attributes were not supported. My study suggests that people associate diversity—even forms of diversity that ostensibly have little to do with race—with Blackness. As such, highlighting deep-level diversity may not make diversity efforts more palatable to groups who traditionally oppose racial equality.