AN EXPERIMENTAL FIELD STUDY OF INTERPERSONAL DISCRIMINATION TOWARD MUSLIM JOB APPLICANTS

Authors


  • We are grateful to Hina Ullah, Genevieve Miller, and Laila Ahmadi for their invaluable assistance in conducting this research, as well as Linda Chrosniak, Seth Kaplan, and Jenessa Shapiro for their comments on the manuscript.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Eden B. King, 4400 University Drive, MSN 3F5, Fairfax, VA 22030; eking6@gmu.edu.

Abstract

Integrating justification-suppression and stereotype content models of prejudice, this research examines religious discrimination in employment settings. In the first study, confederates dressed in either Muslim-identified or nonreligious attire, who either did or did not provide stereotype-inconsistent information, applied for retail jobs. No differences emerged with regard to interview offers between job applicants dressed in traditional Muslim attire and those in the control condition. However, interactions were shorter and rated (by confederates, observers, and naïve coders) as more interpersonally negative when applicants wore Muslim attire and did not provide stereotype-inconsistent information than when applicants wore nonreligious attire. Similarly, results from a second experimental study in which participants rated fictitious Muslim or non-Muslim job applicants suggest that reactions were most negative toward Muslim applicants who did not provide stereotype-inconsistent information. Together, these findings suggest that justification-suppression and stereotype content models are complementary, and that Muslims may face challenges to employment that reflect a lack of acceptance of this religious identity.

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