Social Judgment Toward Job Applicants With Disabilities: Perception of Personal Qualities and Competences


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Abstract

ObjectiveBuilding on D. Stone and A. Colella's (1996) model, this article examines how job applicants with or without a physical disability are evaluated in relation to the nature of the job.DesignData from 284 management undergraduates were collected through 2 experimental studies based on the same paradigm: Participants had to evaluate individuals with or without a disability applying for jobs that did or did not involve a great deal of interpersonal contact (Study 1) and for jobs typically reserved for men or for women (Study 2).ResultsJob applicants with disability were rated more negatively than applicants without disability in poor-fit conditions (job involving a great deal of interpersonal contact, or male job). This devaluation was particularly marked in issues reflecting competence. By way of contrast, individuals with disabilities received higher ratings on personal qualities.ConclusionsTo promote the employment of persons with disabilities, it is important not only to improve the level of qualification of people with disabilities but also to attempt to change the nature of perception of these individuals.

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