Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy A. Hackney

Committee Member 1

Jessica Brooks

Committee Member 2

Nicholas Holtzman


A laboratory experiment investigated how the manipulation of parental status of a female job applicant affected hiring decisions. Ninety-three participants acted as mock employers and evaluated one female applicant on the dimensions of warmth and competence from the Stereotype Content Model and provided a hiring decision for this applicant. Participants evaluated the applicant both on an implicit level with two IATs and on the explicit level. Parental status of the applicant did not affect hiring decisions. Results showed that participants did perceive the mother applicant as higher in warmth and family orientation than the childless female applicant. However, the two applicants did not differ on perceived competence or career orientation. Participants explicitly associated warmth and family orientation traits more with mothers and career orientation traits more with women in general. There was not a strong explicit association of competence traits with either mothers or women in general. Participants implicitly associated warmth and competence traits with mothers; furthermore, female participants reported a stronger implicit association of competence with mothers than male participants. Finally, participants’ explicit attitudes predicted more variance in the hiring decisions for the applicant than the participants’ implicit attitudes. These results reveal that people may have more positive views of mothers in the workplace than previously predicted with the Stereotype Content Model.