Imposing Cognitive Load within Job Interviews: Targeting Applicant Deceptive IM through Cognitive Load Theory
Committee MemberO'Neill, Tom
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AbstractDespite the problems associated with applicant deceptive impression management (IM) within job interviews, research on interventions to address the behaviour has not been promising. However, outside of job interview contexts, research has suggested that it is possible to reduce and better detect deceptive behaviour by imposing cognitive load onto individuals. Therefore, the main purpose of the study was to enhance our understanding of the role of cognitive load in deceptive IM within job interviews. More specifically, the study explored how cognitive load manipulations influence the mental capacities of honest applicants and those using deceptive IM, and how they react to these manipulations. The study also explored the effects of these manipulations on the detection rates of deceptive IM. University student participants (N = 238) were randomly assigned to mock interviews that either imposed or did not impose cognitive load, and they were also instructed to be either honest or use deceptive IM. The results of the thesis found that cognitive load manipulations were effective in increasing perceived cognitive load. Furthermore, there were mixed results on the effect of cognitive load manipulations on applicant reactions and interview performance. The cognitive load manipulations were also not effective in increasing the detection rates of deceptive IM to chance levels. Overall, the study helps advance theory on deceptive IM within job interview settings, and it also provides a potential tool for organizations in addressing the problematic behaviour.
CitationMoon, B. (2021). Imposing Cognitive Load within Job Interviews: Targeting Applicant Deceptive IM through Cognitive Load Theory (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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