The moderating effect of interview structure on race-group similarity effects in simulated interview ratings

Hauptfleisch, Daniel Benjamin (2012-03)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigated race-group similarity effects as a form of interviewer bias in selection interview ratings. Social Identity Theory predicts that interviewers would assign higher ratings to interviewees of the same social group (the so-called in-group) primarily through the mechanism of similarity attraction. Research findings up to now have lent only partial support to this hypothesis. This study argues that interview structure may help to explain inconsistent research findings since structure could inhibit the functioning of the similarity-attraction mechanism. The present research pursued two objectives, namely (1) to determine the degree to which race-group similarity (between interviewer and interviewee) exerts a biasing effect on selection interview dimension ratings, (2) to determine whether same-group bias increases when interview structure is experimentally diminished. This experimental study manipulated the degree of structure in interviews (high- and low-structured conditions) and compared the degree to which race group similarity effects were evident under each condition. Interviews were simulated by showing video-taped interview segments to a sample of participants and asking them to rate interview dimensions on rating scales that had been compiled to reflect the degree of structure in each condition. The data were analysed using Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM) and multiple regression analysis to determine whether similarity effects were present in the interview rating data. The results support the hypothesis that racial similarity effects are found under low-structured conditions, as well as the hypothesis that interview structure moderates the influence of similarity effects. However, racial similarity effects were also found with the highly structured condition. Although these effects were smaller than in the low-structured condition, they were statistically significant. Future research should attempt to replicate this study as a field study to test the generalisability of the findings.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek onderhoudvoerdersydigheid in die vorm van rasgroepsoortgelykheidseffekte in seleksie-onderhoudbeoordelings. Sosiale Identiteitsteorie voorspel dat onderhoudvoerders diegene van dieselfde rasgroep (die sogenaamde ingroep) met hoër beoordelingstellings sal aanslaan, primêr deur die werking van die soortgelykheidaangetrokkendheidsmeganisme. Navorsingsresultate tot op hede leen slegs gedeeltelike steun aan hierdie hipotese. Hierdie studie argumenteer dat die rede vir teenstrydige navorsingbevindinge moontlik die gevolg van die bemiddelende effek van onderhoudstruktuur kan wees, aangesien struktuur moontlik die funksionering van die soortgelykheid-aangetrokkendheidsmeganisme kan inperk. Die studie streef dus twee doelwitte na, nl. (1) om die mate waartoe rasgroepooreenstemming tussen die onderhoudvoerder en onderhoudnemer ’n sydige invloed op onderhouddimensietellings uitoefen te bepaal en (2) om te bepaal of soortgelykheidseffekte toeneem namate onderhoudstruktuur eksperimenteel verlaag word. ’n Eksperimentele ontwerp is gebruik waarbinne onderhoudstruktuur (hoog- en laag gestruktuurde toestande) in video-opnames van onderhoude nageboots is. ’n Groep beoordelaars het hierdie stimilusmateriaal beoordeel aan die hand van beoordelingskriteria wat opgestel is om die mate van struktuur binne elke toestand te reflekteer. Gevolglik is die mate van rasgroepsoortgelykheidseffekte binne elke struktuurtoestand vergelyk. Die navorsingsdata is met gebruik van Hiërargiese Lineêre Modellering (HLM) en veelvoudige regressie ontleed om die teenwoordigheid van soortgelykheidsydigheid te bepaal. Die resultate steun die hipotese dat rassoortgelykheidseffekte onder laaggestruktuurde toestande voorkom, asook dat onderhoudstruktuur ’n modererende rol speel. Nietemin is soortgelyke effekte ook onder die hoog gestruktuurde toestand gevind. Alhoewel hierdie effekte kleiner as onder die laaggestruktuurde toestand was, was dit steeds statisties beduidend. Toekomstige navorsing kan poog om ‘n soortgelyke ondersoek as ‘n veldstudie te onderneem om die moontlikheid van veralgemening van die resultate te bepaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20166
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