Impact of Race and Criminality Upon Employment
Van Cleave, Austin M.
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This study examined the role of applicants’ race, past criminality, and time since criminal conviction on participants’ evaluations of the fitness of fictional job candidates. Participants were told that they were acting as hiring agents at a job-placement firm and would review a pool of applicants from a local community college. Their goal was be to rate the fitness of each applicant and determine whether they would be allowed into the hiring agency’s applicant pool, which would allow these individuals to be considered for available employment opportunities. The participants only screened applicants to determine their fitness for placement into the agency’s pool of applicants—not whether they were a good fit for a specific job. The applicants had a similar educational background, and researcher-constructed applications also included information like their names, type of crime committed, and the time since the offense (along with other typical job application information). Race was not be mentioned explicitly; instead, a preliminary study was done to find names that are strongly associated with Black or Caucasian individuals. These names were then used for the current study.
Department of Psychology
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