The Influence of Tattoo Content on Perceptions of Employment Suitability across the Generational Divide

Michael J. Tews, Kathryn Stafford, Ethan P. Kudler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study extends research on tattoos and employment suitability by examining the extent to which the effects of tattoos on perceived competence and hiring recommendations are contingent upon the generational cohort of hiring managers, tattoo content, and candidate gender. Respondents evaluated hypothetical candidates in a between-subjects design framework. The results demonstrated that candidates with light (more innocent) tattoos were rated lower in perceived competence than candidates with dark (more threatening) tattoos or no tattoos. Regarding hiring recommendations, there were more nuances. Millennial hiring managers viewed candidates with light tattoos more positively than did older managers, and this generational difference was more pronounced for male candidates. Moreover, older hiring managers viewed male candidates with no tattoos more positively than millennials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-13
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personnel Psychology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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