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HPU Professors Present Workplace Research At New Orleans Conference

Posted on April 10, 2009.

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 10, 2009 – Dr. Deborah Danzis, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Wes Davenport, assistant professor of business management, both at High Point University, recently presented papers at the Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, held April 1-5 in New Orleans.  
 
Davenport’s research, entitled “Do you see what I see? Perspective taking and conflict,” presented findings from a recent study designed to assess mechanisms for reducing conflict in work teams. The study trained participants to use perspective taking and related behaviors to improve their understanding of their teammates and thus reduce conflict on their teams.

“There have been relatively few studies that have examined perspective taking, and its role in team conflict,” says Davenport. “The conference gave me an opportunity to discuss my findings with other researchers to build the body of knowledge and gain insights for future research.”
 
Danzis’ presentation was entitled, “Obesity-based discrimination in hiring: Job, sex, and weight influences.” Her research examined how applicant weight might affect employers’ responses to job applicants, and how those reactions might vary depending on the type of job applied for and the sex of the applicant. 
 
“Research in this area has typically found a general bias against overweight applicants, but most research does not examine other variables beyond weight,” says Danzis. “When I examined weight in combination with the other variables, I found that there was not a consistent pattern of bias, and that sometimes the overweight applicant was preferred to the average-weight applicant. This suggests that our stereotypes about jobs and applicants are more complex than most people assume, and is actually encouraging, suggesting that employers do not necessarily have an automatic bias against overweight applicants.”
 
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a national association of workplace behavioral scientists and practitioners who strive to use science to improve organizational functioning by improving the performance of individuals, teams, and employer-employee relationships. 
 
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with more than 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 50 countries and more than 40 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” The university offers 66 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate-degree majors. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu.

Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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