The authors are grateful for the constructive criticism of two anonymous reviewers on an earlier version of this manuscript.
Weight-Based Discrimination in Occupational Hiring and Helping Behavior1
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2008
© 2008 Copyright the Authors
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 968–981, April 2008
How to Cite
Swami, V., Chan, F., Wong, V., Furnham, A. and Tovée, M. J. (2008), Weight-Based Discrimination in Occupational Hiring and Helping Behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38: 968–981. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00334.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2008
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.