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Nesrien Abu Ghazaleh

Perceived discrimination: why applicants and employees expect and perceive discrimination

In this dissertation we have investigated perceptions of discrimination. We have shown discrimination exists in the eyes of applicants and employees and especially when from an ethnic minority group. There are psychological variables that influence these perceptions differently for minority and majority groups but the groups are not per se based on ethnicity as they also depend on whether one feels connected with ones’ subgroup and whether one values this identity. People tend to differ in how sensitive they are to rejection and in being high or low on core self evaluations or in the way they attribute events. This affects their level of perceived discrimination and affects perceptions of discrimination differently for ethnic groups, for groups that are rejected or accepted for a job, and affects reactions when a diversity policy is included or excluded in recruitment. At work, the role of the leader also turned out to be of importance as, for both minority and majority groups, deeper level similarity was related to perceptions of discrimination. Finally, the findings in this dissertation offer a starting point for future research as well as for thinking about how further feelings of perceived discrimination can be reduced in practice.