Much research focuses on religious bias and in particular the marginalization of Muslims in America. What initially surprised post 9-11 researchers is that participants typically rank atheists lower than Muslims in the areas of private and public trust. Further research is needed to continue to understand the nature and extent of religious-based bias. The present study explores whether a job candidate's religion impacts perception of the candidate's "hireability" and source credibility, including elements of trustworthiness, expertise and attractiveness. Participants were randomly assigned to review an identical version of a resume in which only the implied religion of the candidate was manipulated. One line of the candidate's resume suggested that the candidate was Christian, Muslim, Scientologist, Atheist or no religion was indicated. Participants then rated the candidate using a 3-question Hireability Index (Rudman & Glick, 2001) and the Source-Credibility Scale (SCS: Ohanian, 1990). The SCS contains 3 subscales measuring Attractiveness, Expertise and Trustworthiness. In this study, attractiveness emerged as a variable influenced by the religion of the candidate. Trends in the data also suggest that the candidate's religion may influence the candidate's overall Hireability Index score as well. The results suggest that religion may influence variables related to hireability but seem to more strongly influence personal variables such as ratings of attractiveness when the ratings are made by participants who are young and educated.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Leckie, Raina, "Exploring religious bias and perceptions of atheism" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1423.