The Hidden Prejudice in Selection: A Research Investigation on Skin Color Bias
Version of Record online: 14 JAN 2009
© 2009 Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 39, Issue 1, pages 134–168, January 2009
How to Cite
Harrison, M. S. and Thomas, K. M. (2009), The Hidden Prejudice in Selection: A Research Investigation on Skin Color Bias. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39: 134–168. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00433.x
- Issue online: 14 JAN 2009
- Version of Record online: 14 JAN 2009
In this era of affirmative action, racial discrimination in the workplace has been studied widely. A common negligence of these studies is that they disregard the subject of skin-tone stratification, and present an analysis of discrimination based on treatment of Blacks and Whites (both as collective units); thereby overlooking a prevalent issue that has long existed in western culture—colorism. This study examined the influence of colorism on job selection, and discovered a significant preferential difference among Black applicants based on their skin complexion. The findings suggest that skin tone plays a considerable role in the favorability of a Black applicant; indicating that skin color is more salient and regarded more highly than one's educational background and prior work experience.