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Stanford study shows how job candidates show their emotions may result in hiring disparities, workplace bias

four people, two males and two females, sit in a row of chairs, all looking down
Image credit: Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images
Jul 6 2018
Fellow, Research, Stanford, Students

Job applicants who want to appear calm and collected might be at a disadvantage. According to a new Stanford study, American employers are more likely to favor excited over relaxed candidates.

This is one of several findings psychology Professor Jeanne Tsai and former graduate student Lucy Zhang Bencharit reveal in a paper published July 5 in Emotion that examines how the cultural differences of how emotions are displayed could bias hiring decisions.

“Given how diverse our workforce is and how global our markets are, it’s important to understand how culture might influence emotional preferences in employment settings,” said Tsai, who directs the Culture and Emotion Lab in the Psychology Department at Stanford’s School for Humanities and Sciences.

Study co-author Lucy Zhang Bencharit is a recipient of the 2018 VPGE Research Award for the Asian American Activities Center.

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