Hiring the most qualified candidate might be unfair - EVOL

Both liberals and conservatives are more likely to believe that merit-based hiring is unfair after learning about the impacts of socioeconomic disparities, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

People from across the political spectrum also are more likely to support programs that encourage socioeconomic diversity after learning about the effects of social class and low income, according to the research, published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

“Socioeconomic disadvantages early in life can undermine educational achievement, test scores and work experiences. In this way, inequality can undermine equal opportunity,” said lead researcher Daniela Goya-Tocchetto, PhD, an assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University at Buffalo-State University of New York. “Yet when we evaluate the fairness of merit-based processes, people tend to ignore this broader context and the effects of inequality.”

The researchers conducted five online experiments with a total of more than 3,300 participants. In two experiments, participants read about a merit-based hiring or promotion process where the most qualified candidate would be selected. Half of the participants weren’t given any additional information, while the other half were informed about the past socioeconomic disadvantages for one candidate and the advantages for

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