Publication Date

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Megumi Hosoda

Subject Areas



Using data from 207 college students, the interactive effects of an applicant’s accent (standard American English vs. Arabic), attire (no hijab vs. hijab), and job status (low vs. high) on perceived applicant characteristics (i.e., competence and warmth) and employment-related decisions (i.e., job suitability and hiring recommendation) were examined. Inconsistent with the hypotheses, results showed that an Arabic-accented and an applicant wearing a hijab were not rated as less competent and warm compared to a standard American-accented applicant and an applicant not wearing a hijab, respectively. Additionally, an Arabic-accented applicant wearing a hijab was not perceived as less competent and warm. However, when it came to employment-related decisions, an Arabic-accented applicant was considered less suitable for a low status job compared to a standard American English-accented applicant. When an applicant did not wear a hijab, an Arabic-accented applicant was rated less suitable for a high status job compared to a standard American English-accented applicant. A standard American English-accented applicant wearing a hijab was rated as less suitable compared to those not wearing a hijab for a high status job. The results of the study indicate that a foreign accent and hijab could serve as bases for stigma. Consequently, foreign-accented applicants and applicants who wear a hijab might suffer disadvantages in an employment setting. Organizational strategies such as job-structured interviews are discussed to minimize the negative impact of such stigmas.