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January 14, 2022
Job interviews are cognitively demanding tasks for interviewers. However, it is unclear whether the high cognitive load (CL) that interviewers face will ultimately compromise the resistance to discrimination that otherwise distinguishes structured interviews from other selection methods. Using a two-study experimental design, we explored the effect of cognitive load on gender discrimination in structured job interviews. In Study 1, participants completed an online interview simulation in which they assessed both a male and a female candidate applying for either a male- or female-dominated job, while under either a high or low degree of cognitive load. Participants provided ratings of each candidate’s suitability for the job as well as a final, ipsative hiring decision. Study 2 served as a larger replication of Study 1. Overall, CL was not found to affect candidate ratings. These results support the structured interview’s general resistance to discrimination.
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Author: Sulan Kith,
Scott A. Cassidy,
Deborah M. Powell