Author

Maggie Place

Date of Award

5-1-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Research demonstrates that there are several characteristics that could render someone an underdog as a job applicant, including gender, race, able-bodied or disabled, immigrant status, and age. Study 1 used a between-subjects design to examine support for the underdog and the top dog in a low-consequence and high-consequence scenario. The underdog was given more support in low-consequence than high-consequence scenarios, but most participants indicated a neutral response instead of offering more support for either when asked to choose between the two applicants. Study 2 employed a forced-choice task on SuperLab in which participants chose which applicant they would hire in low- and high-consequence scenarios. Although results of Study 2 were not significant, there was a slight trend in which underdogs were chosen more often in low-consequence than high-consequence scenarios. A general discussion follows the description of both studies, including implications of these two studies and potential for future research on the underdog.

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