Motivated Reasoning During Recruitment

Heather Barry Kappes, Emily Balcetis, David De Cremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research shows how job postings can lead job candidates to see themselves as particularly deserving of hiring and high salary. We propose that these entitlement beliefs entail both personal motivations to see oneself as deserving and the ability to justify those motivated judgments. Accordingly, we predict that people feel more deserving when qualifications for a job are vague and thus amenable to motivated reasoning, whereby people use information selectively to reach a desired conclusion. We tested this hypothesis with a 2-phase experiment (N = 892) using materials drawn from real online job postings. In the first phase of the experiment, participants believed themselves to be more deserving of hiring and deserving of higher pay after reading postings composed of vaguer types of qualifications. In the second phase, yoked observers believed that participants were less entitled overall, but did not selectively discount endorsement of vaguer qualifications, suggesting they were unaware of this effect. A follow-up preregistered experiment (N = 905) using postings with mixed qualification types replicated the effect of including more vague qualifications on participants' entitlement beliefs. Entitlement beliefs are widely seen as problematic for recruitment and retention, and these results suggest that reducing the inclusion of vague qualifications in job postings would dampen the emergence of these beliefs in applicants, albeit at the cost of decreasing application rates and lowering applicants' confidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 12 2017

Fingerprint

Aptitude
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Motivation
Reading
Research

Keywords

  • Deservingness
  • Entitlement
  • Motivated reasoning
  • Recruitment practice
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

Motivated Reasoning During Recruitment. / Kappes, Heather Barry; Balcetis, Emily; De Cremer, David.

In: Journal of Applied Psychology, 12.10.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kappes, Heather Barry ; Balcetis, Emily ; De Cremer, David. / Motivated Reasoning During Recruitment. In: Journal of Applied Psychology. 2017.
@article{3f3072bbcc864122aba5565d81171a65,
title = "Motivated Reasoning During Recruitment",
abstract = "This research shows how job postings can lead job candidates to see themselves as particularly deserving of hiring and high salary. We propose that these entitlement beliefs entail both personal motivations to see oneself as deserving and the ability to justify those motivated judgments. Accordingly, we predict that people feel more deserving when qualifications for a job are vague and thus amenable to motivated reasoning, whereby people use information selectively to reach a desired conclusion. We tested this hypothesis with a 2-phase experiment (N = 892) using materials drawn from real online job postings. In the first phase of the experiment, participants believed themselves to be more deserving of hiring and deserving of higher pay after reading postings composed of vaguer types of qualifications. In the second phase, yoked observers believed that participants were less entitled overall, but did not selectively discount endorsement of vaguer qualifications, suggesting they were unaware of this effect. A follow-up preregistered experiment (N = 905) using postings with mixed qualification types replicated the effect of including more vague qualifications on participants' entitlement beliefs. Entitlement beliefs are widely seen as problematic for recruitment and retention, and these results suggest that reducing the inclusion of vague qualifications in job postings would dampen the emergence of these beliefs in applicants, albeit at the cost of decreasing application rates and lowering applicants' confidence. (PsycINFO Database Record",
keywords = "Deservingness, Entitlement, Motivated reasoning, Recruitment practice, Selection",
author = "Kappes, {Heather Barry} and Emily Balcetis and {De Cremer}, David",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
day = "12",
doi = "10.1037/apl0000263",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Applied Psychology",
issn = "0021-9010",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Motivated Reasoning During Recruitment

AU - Kappes, Heather Barry

AU - Balcetis, Emily

AU - De Cremer, David

PY - 2017/10/12

Y1 - 2017/10/12

N2 - This research shows how job postings can lead job candidates to see themselves as particularly deserving of hiring and high salary. We propose that these entitlement beliefs entail both personal motivations to see oneself as deserving and the ability to justify those motivated judgments. Accordingly, we predict that people feel more deserving when qualifications for a job are vague and thus amenable to motivated reasoning, whereby people use information selectively to reach a desired conclusion. We tested this hypothesis with a 2-phase experiment (N = 892) using materials drawn from real online job postings. In the first phase of the experiment, participants believed themselves to be more deserving of hiring and deserving of higher pay after reading postings composed of vaguer types of qualifications. In the second phase, yoked observers believed that participants were less entitled overall, but did not selectively discount endorsement of vaguer qualifications, suggesting they were unaware of this effect. A follow-up preregistered experiment (N = 905) using postings with mixed qualification types replicated the effect of including more vague qualifications on participants' entitlement beliefs. Entitlement beliefs are widely seen as problematic for recruitment and retention, and these results suggest that reducing the inclusion of vague qualifications in job postings would dampen the emergence of these beliefs in applicants, albeit at the cost of decreasing application rates and lowering applicants' confidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

AB - This research shows how job postings can lead job candidates to see themselves as particularly deserving of hiring and high salary. We propose that these entitlement beliefs entail both personal motivations to see oneself as deserving and the ability to justify those motivated judgments. Accordingly, we predict that people feel more deserving when qualifications for a job are vague and thus amenable to motivated reasoning, whereby people use information selectively to reach a desired conclusion. We tested this hypothesis with a 2-phase experiment (N = 892) using materials drawn from real online job postings. In the first phase of the experiment, participants believed themselves to be more deserving of hiring and deserving of higher pay after reading postings composed of vaguer types of qualifications. In the second phase, yoked observers believed that participants were less entitled overall, but did not selectively discount endorsement of vaguer qualifications, suggesting they were unaware of this effect. A follow-up preregistered experiment (N = 905) using postings with mixed qualification types replicated the effect of including more vague qualifications on participants' entitlement beliefs. Entitlement beliefs are widely seen as problematic for recruitment and retention, and these results suggest that reducing the inclusion of vague qualifications in job postings would dampen the emergence of these beliefs in applicants, albeit at the cost of decreasing application rates and lowering applicants' confidence. (PsycINFO Database Record

KW - Deservingness

KW - Entitlement

KW - Motivated reasoning

KW - Recruitment practice

KW - Selection

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85030857509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85030857509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/apl0000263

DO - 10.1037/apl0000263

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Applied Psychology

JF - Journal of Applied Psychology

SN - 0021-9010

ER -