This week, New York Times columnist David Brooks has this piece about political discrimination or “partyism.” Brooks cautions job seekers, especially conservatives, about the dangers of including political work on your resume because of partyism in hiring. He sites specific examples and studies.
He writes about one study that compared student resumes for scholarships. –
For example, political scientists Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood gave 1,000 people student résumés and asked them which students should get scholarships. The résumés had some racial cues (membership in African-American Students Association) and some political cues (member of Young Republicans).
Race influenced decisions. Blacks favored black students 73 percent to 27 percent, and whites favored black students slightly. But political cues were more powerful. Both Democrats and Republicans favored students who agreed with them 80 percent of the time. They favored students from their party even when other students had better credentials.
Iyengar and Westwood conducted other experiments to measure what Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School calls “partyism.” They gave subjects implicit association tests, which measure whether people associate different qualities with positive or negative emotions. They had people play the trust game, which measures how much people are willing to trust different kinds of people.
In those situations, they found pervasive prejudice. And political biases were stronger than their racial biases.
Read the entire Brooks piece because it goes on to examine how partyism is pervasive across our culture and how it got to be that way.
I was struck by the specific point about hiring bias that Brooks made because it reminded me of this story I read a few months ago about a study examining discrimination in hiring against people with pro-LGBT activism on their resumes. The study concluded that applicants with resumes containing gay activism were 23% less likely to get interviews than less qualified applicants. Continue Reading…