Promotion Recommendations of All Sizes

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Badar, Jeanette M
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Middle Tennessee State University
This study investigates weight stereotypes on promotion decisions. Previous research has focused on obesity stereotypes in the workplace regarding weight discrimination, when comparing average weight individuals to overweight and/or obese individuals. However, research has not investigated weight discrimination in the workplace setting for very thin individuals as compared to overweight individuals. Additionally, very little research has been conducted regarding weight discrimination on promotion decision-making. Based on previous research, this study hypothesized that thin candidates will be promoted at a higher rate than overweight candidates. As expected, the qualified candidates were rated higher than unqualified candidates. No main effects were found for weight or gender, but there was a significant interaction between the two. Specifically, unqualified overweight females and unqualified thin males received the lowest qualification ratings. These results supported this study’s hypothesis that thin male candidates and overweight female candidates would be receive lower qualification ratings than their counterparts. Lastly, this study hypothesized that thin participants would be more likely to promote thin candidates based on the similarity-attraction theory. However, the similar-to-me hypothesis was not supported.
Discrimination, Promotion, Weight