What are the feelings of being an Asian American?

Good at math? Bruce Lee? Model immigrants?


Small eyes? Tiger mother? Speaking loud?



How do White evaluators think about Asian American candidates?


Lei and Babcock (2012) conduct two studies to investigate how White male and female evaluators perceive an Asian American versus White job candidate on the dimensions of competence and social skills and how these perceptions affect evaluators’ decisions in hiring and promotion.

  • Study 1: examines how the perceptions of competence and social skills affect Asian (versus White) college graduates’ chance of obtaining a non-technical (versus technical) position
  • Study 2: tests how these perceptions affect Asians’ probability of promotion relative to Whites’.

These studies suggest (Lei and Babcock 2012):

  • Female evaluators were less likely to select Asian than White candidates into positions involving social skills and were less likely to promote Asian than White candidates into these types of positions.
  • Male evaluators did not view the Asian candidate to be less socially skilled than the White candidate so they did not differentially place the job candidate based on race. 



Lai, Lei and Linda C. Babcock. 2012. “Asian Americans and workplace discrimination: The interplay between sex of evaluators and the perception of social skills.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 34(3): 310–326.

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