Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology



First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Shultz, Kenneth


The present study focused on unpacking the social and structural aspects of job complexity to better understand its effects on the gender wage gap. Previous research on the job complexity-compensation dynamic has primarily focused on cognitive complexity. Job complexity across occupations were examined using work activity data from O*NET and merging it with the Current Population Survey data sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (N=67,003). Results revealed that higher complexity jobs in this study yielded greater wage disparities across different occupations as predicted. Furthermore, physical activities and gaining knowledge from the Generalized Work Activities were the two most predictive subdimensions of occupational complexity with regard to the gender wage gap. The gender balance of occupations as a moderating variable were also examined and found that male-dominated occupations had larger wage gaps even when controlling for hours worked. Lastly, as hypothesized, the private sector yielded higher wage disparities among women and men compared to the public sector. Further research exploring elements of the job complexity-compensation dynamic are discussed.