books
Dissertation

Public defence in psychology: Andrea Strinic

Thesis title:

Multiple Categorization in Hiring: The Stereotype Content Model Perspective

Third-cycle subject area:

Psychology

Faculty:

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences 

Date:

Friday September 30 2022 at 10.00 am  

Place for thesis:

Room Weber, Building K, Växjö and via Zoom

External reviewer:

Associate professor Eva Derous, Ghent University, Belgium

Examining committee:

Professor Fredrik Falkenström, Department of Psychology, Linnaeus University
Docent Marie Gustafsson Senden, Stockholms University
Docent Arvid Erlandsson, Linköpings University

Chairperson:

Professor Viktor Kaldo, Department of Psychology, Linnaeus University

Supervisor:

Professor Jens Agerström, Department of Psychology, Linnaeus University

Examiner:

Professor Mikael Rennemark, Department of Psychology, Linnaeus University

Spikning:

Wednesday September 7 2022 at 11.00 am, University Library, Växjö

In order to receive the Zoom link for the thesis defense, please contact Faculty Administrator Pontus Bergström: pontus.bergstrom@lnu.se

Abstract

Hiring discrimination research has predominantly focused on labor market outcomes based on one or two group memberships, most commonly ethnicity and gender. The main aim of the doctoral dissertation is to explore warmth and competence perceptions associated with multiple demographic group membership and how they may affect evaluations and behavior in a workplace and hiring context.

Study I relies on the stereotype content model (SCM, Fiske et al., 2002) to explore how employees perceive intersections of demographic groups on universal dimensions of social perception (warmth and competence). Namely, the intersection of ethnicity (Arab/Swedish), gender (male/female), age (30-year-old/55-year-old), and sexual orientation (gay/heterosexual). Results show that when stigmatized group categories are added to one another, this does not necessarily produce additive negative effects.

Study II addressed perceptions of 22 common occupations in Sweden (e.g., Mechanic, Surgeon). Results show that warmth and competence can account for perceptions of the pre-selected occupations with a five-cluster solution found most descriptive of the data. 

Study III uses a modernized version of the “lost letter” technique (Milgram et al., 1965) and experimentally tests how ethnic discrimination is affected by signals of gender and sexual orientation. We sent out 6 654 emails as a job opportunity follow-up which ostensibly reached the wrong recipient, and measured the number of returned emails notifying the sender of the mistake. We find evidence of ethnic discrimination, with Arabs receiving a lower number of replies than Swedes. No discrimination based on sexual orientation or intersectional effects were found.

Study IV had the main aim of testing whether matching stereotype content of job position and intersected group membership (gender and sexual orientation) in terms of warmth and competence affects the job suitability evaluations of job seekers. The results show no evidence of matching effects  operating, as the gay job seekers, regardless of job position or gender, receive higher job suitability ratings than their straight counterparts. 

Further research should address whether there is an ongoing positive attitude change towards gay groups and whether the positive perceptions affect behavioral outcomes. I conclude that intersecting categories generates important knowledge on the perception and treatment of groups at work.