Open Access Senior Honors Thesis
Department or School
Rusty McIntyre, Ph.D.
Natalie Dove, Ph.D.
Ann R. Eisenberg, Ph.D.
Prior work has examined how racial prejudice can lead to the acceptance of unjust pay toward women and minorities. Other work has found that people who are high in the belief in a just world (BJW) often accept the outcome of events and situations despite differences in outcomes for certain individuals or groups. This research examined if BJW and social dominance orientation (SDO) contributes to the acceptance of pay discrimination toward African Americans. In the research participants read a description of a job applicant and an offer of employment toward that applicant. For the description, participants received explicit information that the application is either Black or White. Additionally, as part of the job offer, participants received explicit information that the applicant is being offered 20% less, or 20% more than the median salary for their position. Assignment to applicant race and pay offered was conducted with random assignment resulting in 4 groups of participants (those who read of a Black applicant with higher pay; those who read of a Black applicant with lower pay; those who read of a White applicant with higher pay; those who read of a White applicant with lower pay). Afterwards, participants were required to evaluate if they would advise the applicant to accept or reject the job offer, or if they would themselves accept/reject it, on Likert scales. Participant then completed two scales that correlate with differential treatment of people and groups, the social dominance orientation scale (a 16-item scale) and the belief in a just world scale (an 8-item scale). The results indicated that SDO and BJW had no effect on data, meaning SDO and BJW largely did not correlate with the outcomes.
Dhue, Sydney Rae, "The impact of belief in a just world and social dominance orientation on reactions to pay inequities" (2023). Senior Honors Theses and Projects. 786.