Dependent Choices in Employee Selection: Modeling Choice Compensation and Consistency

Abstract

Past choices can influence subsequent choices in employee selection. Previous approaches rather described similar sequential effects with feedback learning or the misperception of randomness. However, in the selection of job candidates also the accumulation of the moral impact of previous choices might influence subsequent choices. We investigated that question by making two major contributions to the literature. First we developed an experimental paradigm for measuring sequential choices in employee selection and second, we implemented a widely applicable computational model, the Dependent Sequential Sampling Model, for explaining sequential effects in choices. By using this methodological approach, we uncovered sequential effects in employee selection. Participants (N=600) were especially motivated to compensate for morally dubious choices, with some participants showing consistent choice behavior if their previous choices had been morally virtuous. These results support the assumption of asymmetric compensation of morally dubious choices, sometimes referred to as the moral cleansing hypothesis.


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