Groningen-based SCOOP PhD Candidate Julian Rengers (Sociology/Social Psychology) was awarded a collaborative research grant worth € 2000 by the Heymans Institute for Psychological Research of the University of Groningen (RUG). His research proposal, co-written with Ole Gmelin (PhD Candidate in Developmental Psychology at the RUG), is entitled “Do interpersonal characteristics and cues determine LGB employees’ coming-out decisions at work?”
In this project, they will study lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) employees’ decisions about “coming out” in the workplace. More specifically, they will focus on interpersonal, rather than intrapersonal or organizational, antecedents that may make disclosure and concealment of behaviors more or less likely. They will do so by investigating to what extent 1) demographic characteristics (age, gender) of the interaction partner and 2) the content (i.e., positive, negative, neutral) and explicitness of a cue related to LGBT acceptance or rejection determine such decisions.
To that end, they will conduct an online vignette experiment among a sample of 500 self-identified LGB employees, presenting each participant with a number of scenarios, in which characteristics of the interaction partner and content/explicitness of cues are experimentally manipulated. Participants are then asked to make a decision as to how they would manage their identity in each given situation. The money will be used to offer a financial compensation to participants.
This project aims to take a first step toward drawing interpersonal antecedents into the realm of studying disclosure and concealment behaviors of employees carrying a concealable stigmatized identity. Furthermore, findings may provide further insights as to how a supportive and inclusive work environment for all employees can be realized.