Purpose. The purpose of study one is to find out if overweight women feel more weight stigmatization in job interviews than normal-weight women. There are two hypotheses. Since many blue collar jobs (e.g. teaching, food service) tend to have a higher percentage of overweight women than white collar jobs (CITE), we hypothesize that overweight women being interviewed for blue collar jobs will not feel more weight stigmatization than women of normal weight. Secondly, we hypothesize that overweight women being interviewed for white collar jobs will feel significantly more weight stigmatization than women of normal weight.
Participants. Since research has not revealed significant weight stigmatization towards men, our participants for study one will be women. In order to have a large enough sample, we would need at least 80 participants, or 20 participants in each of the four conditions. Participants will be recruited with advertisements via newspapers, flyers, radio ads, and social media in several large towns and the surrounding 50-mile radius. This is intended to allow for participation from women from a variety of cultures and lifestyles. In the advertisements, no specific jobs will be listed; rather, the recruitment materials will state that an employer is hiring in a number of positions and readers will be instructed to call to set up an interview. Since only women will be participants, any men that call will be told that there are no available positions for which they can interview.
Upon arrival for the interview, participants will be placed into one of two job conditions: blue-collar jobs (defined as teacher, housekeeper, nanny, laborer, etc.) or white-collar jobs (e.g. administration, management, or scientific and professional jobs). Participants will be told that there is one individual doing the interview for all available jobs, and will be given a list of example jobs (e.g. teacher, nanny, or factory employee for blue-collar jobs; sales representative, secretary, or marketing manager for white-collar jobs) relevant to their condition.
Additionally, each participant will be placed into one of two weight categories based on her BMI: normal (BMI of 26 or below) or overweight (BMI of 28 or above). We chose this normal range because healthy, normal-weight individuals with more muscle mass may have a BMI above 25 because muscle weighs more than fat. Thus, we want to include all those with a BMI of 26 or below as having normal weight. We will exclude participants with a BMI between 26.1 and 27.9. This is for the purpose of creating two clear and separate categories (normal and overweight) such that participants in one category are not too similar to participants of the other category. The remaining overweight range (BMI of 28-29.9) and obese range (BMI of 30 or higher) will be combined to create our overweight category (BMI of 28 or above).
The interviewer will be a female confederate trained to ask a set list of questions and...