Abstract

As the use of social networking sites (SNSs) in hiring increases, human resources professionals have become concerned with the increased probability of discriminatory hiring decisions. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that discrimination towards overweight and obese applicants has risen in the past decade. The present study addressed these concerns by examining the impact of an applicant's weight in a SNS profile picture on the decision to hire the applicant for a sales position. The impact of the applicant's gender, body mass index, and stereotype-consistent behaviors on hiring intentions were examined. In addition, the type of sales position (face to face or over the phone) were also examined. Results indicated that only overweight, and not obese, candidates experienced discrimination. Moreover, whereas the types of behaviors disclosed on social media profiles impact hiring intentions, there were no interaction effects between applicant weight and the types of behaviors disclosed. Analyses suggested that stereotype-consistent behaviors associated with conscientiousness (i.e., laziness, discipline) were a stronger predictor of hiring intentions than behavior that was less work-related (i.e., unhealthy behaviors). In addition, results suggested that weight discrimination did not occur more for the in person position than the phone position. Overall, the present study suggests that disclosing behaviors on social media that reflect negative traits (i.e., lazy, undisciplined, unhealthy) may impact hiring intentions, regardless of the applicant's weight. Moreover, while applicants who are overweight are less likely to be hired than their average weight counterparts, this discrimination does not occur more often when the applicant engages in stereotype-consistent behavior.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Joseph, Dana

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology; Industrial & Organizational Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006141

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006141

Language

English

Release Date

May 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

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