Justifying the Pay System Through Status: Gender Differences in Reports of What Should Be Important in Pay Decisions
Article first published online: 18 APR 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 4, pages 823–849, April 2011
How to Cite
HOGUE, M., FOX-CARDAMONE, L. and DUBOIS, C. L. Z. (2011), Justifying the Pay System Through Status: Gender Differences in Reports of What Should Be Important in Pay Decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 823–849. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00737.x
- Issue published online: 18 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 18 APR 2011
We explored students' beliefs about what should be important in determining an employee's pay. Ratings of 12 different work input items fell into 4 factors reflecting different methods of status attainment: 3 were achievement-related and 1 was ascriptive. Overall, participants reported that the 3 achievement-related factors should be more important in pay decisions than the ascriptive factor, but the precise amount of importance assigned to each factor differed by gender. Women said more importance should go to the 3 achieved status factors, and men said more should go to the ascribed status factor. We use system justification theory to explain that the system in which unequal distribution of pay occurs is justified through status beliefs.