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The Effects of Meritocracy Beliefs on Evaluations of Pay Dispersion

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Title: The Effects of Meritocracy Beliefs on Evaluations of Pay Dispersion
Author: Sin, Parco
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Son Hing, Leanne
Abstract: This study investigates the relation between Americans’ meritocracy beliefs and their evaluations of pay dispersion at three fictional American organizations. The current research draws on existing theories, including tournament theory and distributive justice theory, to investigate factors that affect people’s evaluations of pay dispersion. 637 participants, recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, completed two online surveys, and rated the degree to which they believed outcomes (e.g., jobs, rewards) were (and should have been) distributed based on merit. They also reported how they felt about various levels of pay dispersion. The results indicated that individuals rated high levels of pay dispersion less positively than low levels of pay dispersion. As well, more people perceived that meritocracy existed, the more positively they evaluated pay dispersion. This relation was mediated by people’s perceptions of equity and their perceptions of whether pay dispersion benefited organizations. The implications for research and practice are discussed.
Date: 2018-08
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada

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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada