Judging Job Applicants by Their Politics: Effects of Target–Rater Political Dissimilarity on Discrimination, Cooperation, and Stereotyping


  • Samantha Sinclair Orcid
  • Artur Nilsson Orcid
  • Jens Agerström Orcid


Despite well-known problems associated with political prejudice, research that examines effects of political dissimilarity in organizational contexts is scarce. We present findings from a pre-registered experiment (N = 973, currently employed) which suggest that both Democrats and Republicans negatively stereotype and discriminate against job applicants with a political orientation that is dissimilar to their own. The effects were small for competence perceptions, moderate for hiring judgments, and large for warmth ratings and willingness to cooperate and socialize with the applicant. The effects of political orientation on hiring judgments and willingness to cooperate and socialize were mediated by stereotype content, particularly warmth. Furthermore, for all outcomes except competence judgments, Democrats discriminated and stereotyped applicants to a larger extent than Republicans did. These findings shed light on the consequences of applicants revealing their political orientation and have implications for the promotion of diversity in organizations.