Derek Avery: Perceived Discrimination

Morela interviews Derek Avery about a study on discrimination he conducted using national Gallup polling data. Derek talks about how two types of dissimilarity” prototypical dissimilarity and demographic dissimilarity” lead to different perceptions of discrimination. Interestingly, they found that the community in which people live also affects the degree to which they feel discriminated against at work.

Derek Avery

Derek R. Avery, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Management at the University of Houston, received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Rice University in 2001. Dr. Avery joined the faculty at UH in August 2007. His primary research interests are in workforce diversity, diversity climate, and employee input mechanisms. Before arriving at UH, he spent four years in the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University and two years on the faculty in the Rutgers School of Business. His research has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Recommend further readings:

  • Avery, D. R., McKay, P. F., & Wilson, D. C. (2008). What are the odds? How demographic similarity affects the prevalence of perceived employment discrimination. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 235-249.
  • Ely, R. J., Meyerson, D. E., & Davidson, M. N. (2006). Rethinking political correctness. Harvard Business Review, 84(9), 78-87.
  • Goldman, B. M., Gutek, B. A., Stein, J. H., & Lewis, K. (2006). Employment discrimination in organizations: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of Management, 32, 786-830.
  • Roberson, L. & Kulik, C.T. (2007). Stereotype threat at work. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21, 24-40.
  • Wooten, L. P., & James, E. H. (2004). When firms fail to learn: Perpetuation of discrimination in the workplace. Journal of Management Inquiry, 13, 23-33.

Morela Hermandez

Morela Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Organization in the Foster Business School at the University of Washington. She can be reached at