Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight is a factor in graduate school admissions

Date:
July 22, 2013
Source:
Bowling Green State University
Summary:
Want to go to graduate school? Your weight could determine whether or not you receive an offer of admission.

Want to go to graduate school? Your weight could determine whether or not you receive an offer of admission.

The study by Bowling Green State University Ph.D. candidates Jacob Burmeister and Allison Kiefner; Dr. Dara Musher-Eizenman, a professor of developmental psychology; and Dr. Robert Carels, an associate professor of clinical psychology, appeared in the May edition of the journal Obesity.

"Weight Bias in Graduate School Admissions" found that applicants with a high body mass index (BMI) were less likely to be offered admission after an in-person interview.

The researchers followed 97 applicants who had applied to psychology graduate programs at more than 950 universities in the United States. Letters of recommendation were coded for positive and negative statements as well as overall quality.

"One of the things we suspected was the quality of their letters of recommendation written by their undergrad mentors would be associated with the applicants' body weight, but it really wasn't," said Burmeister. "It may be that letter writers come to know students well and body weight no longer played a factor."

The students told researchers about their application experiences, including whether they had an interview in person or on the phone, and whether or not they received an offer of admission.

"When we looked at that we could see a clear relation between their weight and offers of admission for those applicants who had had an in-person interview," Burmeister said. "The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal, but when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation."

The results also suggested the weight bias was stronger for female applicants.

Burmeister said the research team was not surprised. "We know that these kinds of biases are pretty common and even somewhat acceptable compared to other biases, and there's not much legally forbidding it."

He said additional research is necessary into other fields besides psychology, and those results could show an even stronger bias against applicants with a high BMI.

"We might expect psychology faculty to be more aware of these types of biases. Thus, the level of bias found in this study could be a conservative estimate of the level of bias in the graduate admissions process in other fields."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bowling Green State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jacob M. Burmeister, Allison E. Kiefner, Robert A. Carels, Dara R. Musher-Eizenman. Weight bias in graduate school admissions. Obesity, 2013; 21 (5): 918 DOI: 10.1002/oby.20171

Cite This Page:

Bowling Green State University. "Weight is a factor in graduate school admissions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722202651.htm>.
Bowling Green State University. (2013, July 22). Weight is a factor in graduate school admissions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722202651.htm
Bowling Green State University. "Weight is a factor in graduate school admissions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722202651.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins