The Influence of Body Art on Personnel Selection
Dvorslak, Marissa L.
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SubjectEmployee selection -- Psychological aspects; Body art -- Psychological aspects; Body image -- Psychological aspects; Discrimination in employment; Employment interviewing -- Psychological aspects; Body piercing -- Psychological aspects; Tattooing -- Psychological aspects; Physical-appearance-based bias
Previous research on physical appearance and personnel selection suggests physical appearance significantly affects hiring decisions. With individuals dramatically changing their physical appearance with body art, such as tattoos and body piercings, this study was designed to examine the impact body art has on personnel selection and personorganization fit. Each applicant packet included a photograph of the same Caucasian male, a fabricated personal statement, with an attached resume creating three applicant packets. Application materials were identical in nature, with the exception of the photograph. The level of body art was manipulated in the photograph (Level One: pictured without visible body art, Level Two: pictured with a moderate amount of body art, and Level Three: pictured with excessive amounts of body art). Forty-five Management Professionals with Hiring Responsibilities (ranging in age from 25 years and up) and Forty-five Supervisory Professionals without Hiring Responsibilities (ranging in age from 18 years to 25 years) were asked to evaluate an applicant packet from one of the variable levels and rate the likelihood that they would be selected for an entry-level position, as well as perceived level of attractiveness. The male with no visible body art was viewed as the most attractive. The amount of visible body art did not appear to influence hiring decisions. Although age of the rater was predicted to be a potential moderator, did not moderate the effects of body art on attractiveness, person-organization fit, selection, or stereotyping.
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