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The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1751

Research Paper

Abstract

This study examines the work of Judge and Cable (2010) entitled “When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women” published in the Journal of Applied Psychology which reports on the “standard of attractiveness” splashed across the television screen is one that is portrays women as slimmer than what an attractive may would be portrayed appearing to be.

When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Mena and Women

Write what you think the article means without restating the author(s).

The work of Judge and Cable (2010) entitled “When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women” published in the Journal of Applied Psychology reports on the “standard of attractiveness” which is splashed across the television screen is one that is portrays women as slimmer than what an attractive may would be portrayed as. In fact, these authors relate the work of Roehling (1999) who reported that individuals who are overweight are seen as slovenly, lacking emotional stability and more introverted that their counterparts who are of a normal or average weight. It is reported that a good percentage of individuals who are overweight report discrimination in the workplace based on their excessive body weight. Income is the primary aspect according to the work of Judge and Cable (2010) of discrimination in the workplace against overweight individuals and this is more accurately stated in regards to overweight women according to the statistics stated by Judge and Cable (2010). It is noted in the work of Judge and Cable (2010) that there are no empirical research findings to support this idea. Several studies are reviewed and hypotheses stated.

Evaluate the relevance of this research (e.g. to whom do the result apply).

The research reported by Judge and Cable (2010) states findings applicable to thinner men and women who are overweight as these are the two groups who are found to be most discriminated against in the workplace when it comes to wages.

Describe any methodological flaws in the research (i.e. we will be reviewing these in class to provide you with some context)

The methodological flaws in this study are inclusive of the fact that experimental designs were not utilized in providing confirmation of the effects of discrimination. As well, the methodology utilized failed to weigh the impact of employee performance in regards to weight and income as a causal mechanism. The methodology utilized failed to test the impact of the success of employees on accomplishing tasks based on weight in regards to the amount of cooperation received from others in the workplace when attempting to accomplish tasks and objectives. In the area of research on the impact of the male body weight, this study failed to examine body weight as it relates to the male who is muscular. Some of the studies included in the review did not report body weight as accurately as would be desired. Another flaw in the methodology was the failure of the authors to examine the affect that the development of disease in overweight individuals plays in workplace wage and pay discrimination of individuals who are overweight. This issue is examined in the work of Chernov (2006) entitled “Weight Discrimination: The Effects of Obesity on Employment” which reports that obesity “is a major health concern and a large factor in the contraction of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.” (p.1) In addition, it is reported by Chernov (2006) that the greater weight the individual carries the more stress that is put on the individual’s skeletal system including the increase in the risk of developing arthritis and “skin irritation and infections.” (p.1) Furthermore, while projected health status is addressed in the study reported by Judge and Cable (2010) there is a failure to examine the affect of the perception of future increases in the cost of health insurance coverage and health insurance expenses for the individual who is overweight. Chernov notes the assumption of employers that “obese people are or will become less healthy.” (2006. p.1) Finally, not examined in the study reported by Judge and Cable (2010) is legal decisions on obesity discrimination in the workplace.

It is reported by Chernov (2006) that in several cases in which the “plaintiff claimed protection under the ADA” claiming obesity as a disability the court’s decision held that obesity “is not a disability because it is a voluntary act not caused by a physical problem, deformity, or loss of a body part.” (p.1) However, according to Dr. Allen Chernov while obesity results from “increasedcalorie intake and a decreased amount of exercise” morbid obesity “is a disability” as it would serve to “severely limit a life activity, thus being protected under the ADA and Rehabilitation

Describe any especially wise methodological tactics used

The theory developed in this study in relation to weight included testing for curvilinearity in the income and weight relationship and a theory was developed for the difference in men and women in this area resulting in contributions on a conceptual level in regards to weight theory in previous research. Past research has made the assumption of a linear relationship failing to examine the thinner body weight range. The two-sample investigation in this study serves to raise the level of knowledge in relation to the hypotheses when tested in other cultures and weight changes that occurred across time are also examined in this study in regards to its effect on income differences in thin and obese individuals.

Hypotheses

Two hypotheses are stated in this study as follows:

Hypothesis 1:”For women, weight will have a negative linear effect on earnings (Hypothesis 1a), but the quadratic term will be positive (Hypothesis 1b), such that the effect of increasing weight on women’s earnings will be particularly negative at low (below-average) levels of weight.” (Judge and Cable, 2010)

Hypothesis 2: For men, weight will have a positive linear effect on earnings (Hypothesis 2a), but the quadratic term will be negative (Hypothesis 2b), such that men’s earnings willincrease with weight up to a point, at which point (at above average levels of weight) the relationship becomes less positive or negative.” (Judge and Cable, 2010)

Sampling of the Two Studies Reported

The first study used a German sample to test the difference of income based on the weight of the individual. The individuals in the analyses were those that worked more than 20 hours each week and whose complete data for a five-year period were available including 11,253 individuals (57.6% men and 92% natives of Germany, 63% married, average age 44.23 years). The second study sampling were individuals enrolled in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 including 14,573 individuals and a final 12,686 participants.

Write your overall impression of the article and relate it to concepts learned in class.

It appears that the general attitude in the workplace is that overweight people are less capable than their normal weight counterparts. This is likely due to the conceptual view in the work of such as Fleishman in the area of psychomotor abilities, which include such as reaction time, response orientation, control, precision, finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and others, all of which are physical attributes not generally assigned to those who are overweight. In addition, the ‘Big Five Personality Model’ is one that has the components that include such as conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability, all of which are generally not attributed to the overweight individual who is seen as having a lack of control in general. This study is lacking in scientific research methodology and measures. This is echoed in the study reported by Chernov (2006) who states that reports show that the obese person’s physical limitations “may be the most legitimate reason not to hire an obese person” as the physical fitness of the individual may be highly relevant to jobs that are inclusive of physical activity of a strenuous nature.

The study lacks in generalizability due to the failure to gather weight over time, which resulted in a lack of ability to make within-individual analyses possible. However, in study 2 weight was measured approximately 15 times over the course of 25 years allowing for examination of within-individual changes in earnings and accompanying weight of the individual. Control variables differed in the two studies reported and specifically:

  • Race was controlled for in study 2 rather than nationality; and
  • Spouse’s wages or salary was controlled for in study 2 as well as for childhood socioeconomic status although there was no control for job training in study 2.

Childhood socioeconomic status is reported to be possibly related to the individual’s “weight, income, or both.” (Judge and Cable, 2010)

The primary contribution of the study reported by Judge and Cable (2010) is the information provided on the non-linearity in the relationship between body weight and level of pay for overweight women and thinner men. Thinner men and overweight women both suffer discriminatory effects in the workplace based upon their weight and particularly as it relates to the wages paid to the individual who is overweight. Overall, however, the findings of the study reported by Judge and Cable (2010) are sound when compared to other such studies and for example the work entitled “Studies Show Overweight Women Less Successful Than Skinny Women” states the fact that individuals who are “slimmer…are more successful and earn more money over the course of their careers.” (2011, p.1) Additionally it is reported in the work entitled “Obesity Discrimination: Does It Affect You?” that it has been shown in several studies that being obese “in the workplace means more difficulty finding a job, lower wages, fewer promotions, worse treatment and a higher likelihood of termination, especially for obese white women.” (Bariatric Surgery Source, 2011, p.1) Lastly, the study reported by Judge and Cable (2010) fails to state recommendations for future research following their stated conclusion in the work under review.

References

Chernov, Allan. “Survey”. 8 Nov. 2003. E-mail interview. (8 Nov. 2003)

Chernov, Andrea E. (2006) Weight Discrimination: The Effects of Obesity on Employment. Vol. 4 No. 1. HoHonu University of Hawaii at Hilo. Retrieved from: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/academics/hohonu/writing.php?id=111

Judge, Timothy; Cable, Daniel. (2010). When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women. Journal of Applied Psychology. American Psychological Association.

Obesity Discrimination: Does It Affect You? (2011) Bariatric Surgery Source. Retrieved from: http://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/obesity-discrimination.html

Roehling, M. V. (1999). Weight-based discrimination in employment: Psychological and legal aspects. Personnel Psychology, 52, 969–1016.

Studies Show Overweight Women Less Successful Than Skinny Women (2011) Career Education News – CTI Career Search. 23 Jun 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/articles/studies-show-overweight-women-less-successful-than-skinny-women-11062301

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