Event Title

Weight and Gender Discrimination Among Job Applicants

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

16-4-2013 2:00 PM

End Date

16-4-2013 4:00 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Kristie Campana

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Recently, research has begun to focus on obesity and the workplace. Research suggests that individuals make assumptions about job applicants’ abilities based on weight; this is problematic because weight is typically not associated with performance. This study seeks to examine how gender and weight influence judgments about applicant characteristics. Currently, data collection for this study is 75% completed. In this study both the gender and the weight (i.e. normal weight versus overweight) were manipulated using an applicant photograph. Participants review the candidate’s resume, along with the applicant’s photograph. The participant then responds to a survey where they are asked to rate the applicant on reliability, self-discipline, supervision skills, and overall hire- ability. Although data collection is still underway, we do have some promising initial results. First, across most dependent variables, participants are demonstrating a preference for overweight individuals. The one exception is on self-discipline; here, we see that normal weight individuals are rated higher. There are also some interesting interactions; specifically, overweight females and normal weight males were rated as most hirable. We are continuing to collect data and the end results may change in our final analyses. The implications of this study can be seen in organizational, social, and school settings. When candidates are judged differently because of their weight, this can impact the validity of selection measures. In addition, judgments about weight can have important legal consequences for organizations.

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Apr 16th, 2:00 PM Apr 16th, 4:00 PM

Weight and Gender Discrimination Among Job Applicants

CSU Ballroom

Recently, research has begun to focus on obesity and the workplace. Research suggests that individuals make assumptions about job applicants’ abilities based on weight; this is problematic because weight is typically not associated with performance. This study seeks to examine how gender and weight influence judgments about applicant characteristics. Currently, data collection for this study is 75% completed. In this study both the gender and the weight (i.e. normal weight versus overweight) were manipulated using an applicant photograph. Participants review the candidate’s resume, along with the applicant’s photograph. The participant then responds to a survey where they are asked to rate the applicant on reliability, self-discipline, supervision skills, and overall hire- ability. Although data collection is still underway, we do have some promising initial results. First, across most dependent variables, participants are demonstrating a preference for overweight individuals. The one exception is on self-discipline; here, we see that normal weight individuals are rated higher. There are also some interesting interactions; specifically, overweight females and normal weight males were rated as most hirable. We are continuing to collect data and the end results may change in our final analyses. The implications of this study can be seen in organizational, social, and school settings. When candidates are judged differently because of their weight, this can impact the validity of selection measures. In addition, judgments about weight can have important legal consequences for organizations.

Recommended Citation

Sohre, Jill and Jill Morris. "Weight and Gender Discrimination Among Job Applicants." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 16, 2013.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2013/poster-session-B/48