What's in a Name? A Multiracial Investigation of the Role of Occupational Stereotypes in Selection Decisions

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Abstract

Bertrand & Mullainathan (2002) found evidence that race-typed names can have a significant influence on the evaluation of résumés. The current study expanded on their research by manipulating both the race (Asian American, Black, Hispanic, White) and quality of the résumé (high, low), and by considering occupational stereotypes as an explanatory mechanism. White male participants (N=155) read a fictitious résumé, evaluated the applicant, and judged his suitability for jobs. The results revealed that Asian American individuals were evaluated highly for high-status jobs, regardless of their résumé quality. White and Hispanic applicants both benefited from a high-quality résumé, but Black applicants were evaluated negatively, even with strong credentials. Results of mediation analyses demonstrated that occupational stereotypes accounted for the relationship between race and evaluations of applicants.

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