ERIC Number: ED262363
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Applicant Pool Composition and Job Perceptions: Impact on Decisions Regarding an Older Applicant.
Cleveland, Jeanette N.; And Others
Previous research suggests that one basis for age discrimination involves stereotypes about older people. Situational variables, however, may influence the extent to which these stereotypes affect decisions in employment. One situational variable, the age composition of the applicant pool, was varied to determine the degree to which age bias in decisions can be reduced. Graduate students (N=154) were asked to evaluate an applicant for a specific organizational position. In order to obtain a sense of the broader applicant pool, subjects read eight applications, evaluating only the eighth who was always a male aged 60-61 years. The other seven applicants varied in age (27-28 years, 60-61 years) depending upon the experimental condition. For the four conditions, the percentage of older applicants were: 25 percent, 37.5 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent. The results of the applicant evaluations revealed that as the number of older applicants in the applicant pool increased, an older applicant seeking employment in a stereotypically younger person job received more favorable ratings. In addition, as the number of older applicants in the pool increased, there was a shift in the perception of the job. These findings provide some support for the notion that less favorable decisions regarding the older applicant might be reduced by manipulating contextual factors, suggesting a strategy that organizations might pursue to avoid or reduce age bias in decisions at work. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).