Weight-based discrimination in occupational hiring and helping behavior

Viren Swami*, Flora Chan, Vivien Wong, Adrian Furnham, Martin J. Tovée

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored weight-based discrimination using a range of weight categories, as represented by images of real women with known body mass index (BMI). In the first study, 30 men rated each image according to likelihood of occupational hiring for a managerial post. In the second study, 28 men rated the same images for likelihood of helping behavior following a minor accident. Study results showed that individuals with a slender body weight (BMI = 19-20) were most likely to be hired and helped, while obese (BMI > 30) participants were least likely to be hired and helped. However, results also showed that emaciated (BMI < 15) individuals were likely to be discriminated against. Implications for real-life settings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-981
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

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