The present study examined archetype theory (Marcus & Fritzsche, 2015) that suggests that the intersection of multiple group memberships will create a unique cognitive representation, as it is relates to sex, age, and weight. Following a pilot study to equate photos on attractiveness, perceived competence, professionalism, and intelligence, 183 participants reviewed a fictitious LinkedIn profile in which all information was held constant across participants except the photo. Using a 2 (sex) x 2 (age) x 2 (weight) design (manipulated through the photos), participants rated the job applicant on adjectives associated with proposed sex, age, and weight archetypes and on perceptions of job suitability. Results showed that the most young, overweight female received the highest ratings on negative adjectives (i.e., lazy, uncontrolled, self-indulgent) and was rated lower than most conditions on job suitability. Overweight conditions received lower ratings on job suitability than their average-weight counterpart. Weight also impacted the old, female, such that the old, overweight female received lower ratings than her average-weight counterpart on job suitability. In order to help individuals who face disadvantages and unfair treatment in the workplace, the negative effects multiple-group membership has on certain groups must first be acknowledged.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial Organizational Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Pelkey, Miranda, "She's Not Fit for the Business World: An Initial Examination of Gender, Age, and Weight" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4931.