When “decoy effect” meets gender bias: The role of choice set composition in hiring decisions

Autor(en)
Steffen Keck, Wenjie Tang
Abstrakt

A large body of research has found evidence that hiring decisions are frequently subject to strong gender bias and has explored factors that help to predict and prevent such a bias from occurring. In this paper, we explore a novel factor that has received only little attention: the composition of the choice set. Drawing on prior research on the attraction effect of decoys in consumer choice and personnel decisions, we posit that when decision makers need to decide whether to hire a male or a female applicant for a stereotypically male position, the presence of a third applicant whose profile is asymmetrically dominated by one of the two applicants can in many circumstances strongly increase the odds that the male applicant will be selected, but will not be beneficial for the female applicant. We test our hypotheses in five experimental studies with different designs, experimental settings, and participant pools—including managers with professional experience in hiring decisions. Our results provide robust evidence demonstrating the strong effects of choice set composition on the emergence of gender bias. In addition, we found that the presence of asymmetrically dominated applicants makes decision makers more confident in their biased decisions and more likely to implement them immediately without searching for further information. Finally, our results also provide some initial evidence that our results for stereotypically male positions will be reversed when hiring decisions are made for stereotypically female positions where the presence of decoys instead gives an advantage to female over male applicants.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
Externe Organisation(en)
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Journal
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
Band
23
Seiten
240-254
ISSN
0894-3257
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2157
Publikationsdatum
11-2019
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
Organisationspsychologie
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/when-decoy-effect-meets-gender-bias-the-role-of-choice-set-composition-in-hiring-decisions(6d49f5d5-b44a-4053-ba5a-2b5d7797e18a).html