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Examining closed-mindedness and uncertaintys effects on likelihood to hire ex-convicts Urecki, C., Keith, V., Hord, E., VanNess, K., Pena, J., Bankert,

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Presentation on theme: "Examining closed-mindedness and uncertaintys effects on likelihood to hire ex-convicts Urecki, C., Keith, V., Hord, E., VanNess, K., Pena, J., Bankert,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Examining closed-mindedness and uncertaintys effects on likelihood to hire ex-convicts Urecki, C., Keith, V., Hord, E., VanNess, K., Pena, J., Bankert, M., Buchholz, C. Roanoke College In this study, we examined the effects of personality (closed-mindedness) and situational uncertainty on a participants likelihood to hire ex- convicts. The results indicate that participants who were open-minded, high in need for cognition, and low in preference for order had more favorable attitudes toward hiring convicts. Abstract Introduction What is it about a person that makes an individual less willing to hire someone with a criminal background? Based on previous research, closed-minded individuals seek out closure and thus, are more likely to utilize stereotypical and heuristic strategies when making decisions (Kruglanksi, 2004). In other words, we would expect individuals high in closed-mindedness to be less likely to hire an applicant. However, does the amount or quality of information one receives about a potential hire make a difference? One could argue that one aspect of open-mindedness is a tolerance for uncertainty/unpredictability; a willingness to try new things or make decisions in the face of a lack of information. In this study, we explored this notion by examining how likely participants were to hire an individual who committed a crime, was in prison, and is now looking for employment. We were interested in examining two factors: open/closed-mindedness (Kruglanski, Webster, & Klem, 1993) and the uncertainty of the situation. In future studies, we plan to explore this potential interaction between the uncertainty of the situation and individual differences that may affect ones tolerance for this uncertainty (e.g., openness to experience, need for cognition, uncertainty tolerance, etc.). The research from this study is intended to be a starting point for examining ways to improve the chances of ex-offenders in attaining employment and hopefully as a result decreasing recidivism. Methods We obtain a sample of 71 Roanoke College Introductory Psychology students who were to obtain course credit for participation. The participants were randomly assigned to either the Certain Condition or the Uncertain condition. In order to manipulate the uncertainty of the situation, participants were given a letter (uncertain or certain) about an ex-convicted individual looking for a job. Participants in the Certain Condition were given a letter with specific details about the individual and participants who were in the Uncertain Condition were given a letter with vague details about the individual. A 2(uncertain/certain) x 2(low/high closed-mindedness) between subjects ANOVAs was conducted to examine the effects on a participants likelihood to hire the ex-convict. In order assess the reasons for either support or opposition of hiring, we used questions such as: I would prefer having more information about the candidate before I would schedule an interview, If this person who did not have a criminal background, I would hire him, People who commit crimes, no matter what type of offense, will always be criminals, and People who have committed crimes can be rehabilitated. Results In this study we were interested in how uncertainty affects attitudes about hiring ex-convicts. In addition to the manipulation of certainty level in the letter participants read, we also examined several individual difference measures intended to indicate ones tolerance for uncertain situations (i.e., closed- mindedness, need for cognition, preference for order). Unfortunately, the certainty manipulation failed to significantly affect participants attitudes about hiring. Likelihood to Hire. In order to evaluate the effects of closed-mindedness and level of uncertainty on likelihood to hire, a 2 (uncertain/certain) X 2 (low/high closed-mindedness) between subjects analysis of variance was conducted. The open minded participants were more likely to hire (M = 2.78) than closed minded participants (M = 2.58); however, this difference was not statistically significant. When we include for need for cognition, we found that participants who were high in need for cognition (M = 2.82) were more likely to hire than those who were low in need for cognition (M = 2.54), F (1, 66) = 5.856, p =.018, η 2 =.082 (Figure 1). As shown in Figure 2, we also found a significant main effect for preference for order, F (1, 67) = 5.232, p =.025, η 2 =.072. Participants who were high in preference for order (M=2.54) were less likely to hire than those who were low in preference for order (M=2.81). Belief in Rehabilitation. In order to evaluate the effects of closed- mindedness and level of uncertainty on the belief that criminals can be rehabilitated, a 2 (uncertain/certain) X 2 (low/high closed-mindedness) between subjects analysis of variance was conducted. There were no significant effects for closed-mindedness; however, we did find a significant main effect for need for cognition, F (1, 66) = 5.926, p =.018, η 2 =.082 (Figure 3). Participants who were high in need for cognition (M = 3.52) were more likely to feel that criminals could be rehabilitated in comparison to those who were low in need for cognition (M = 3.22). When we looked at preference for order, we found that participants who were high in preference for order (M = 3.17) were less likely than those who were low in preference for order (M = 3.57) to believe that criminals can be rehabilitated, F (1, 67) = , p =.001, η 2 =.152 (Figure 4). Attitudes about the Candidate. In order to evaluate the effects of closed- mindedness and levels of uncertainty on attitudes about the candidate, a 2 (uncertain/certain) X 2 (low/high closed-mindedness) between subjects analysis of variance was conducted. Participants who scored high in closed-mindedness (M = 2.49) were less likely to have positive attitudes about the candidate than those low in closed-mindedness (M = 2.69), F (1, 66) = 4.572, p =.036, η 2 =.065 (Figure 5). Need for cognition was also significant, F (1, 65) = 5.379, p =.024, η 2 =.076 (Figure 6). Participants who score higher in need for cognition held more positive views of the candidate (M = 2.70) where as those who scored lower in need for cognition were less likely to hold more positive views of said candidate (M = 2.49). Finally, participants who were high in preference for order (M = 2.47) were less likely to hold positive attitudes about the candidate (M = 2.71) as compared to those low in preference for order, F (1, 66) = 7.460, p =.008, η 2 =.102 (Figure 7). Attitudes about Candidate Likelihood to Hire References Kruglanski, A. W. (2004). The psychology of closed mindedness. New York, NY: Psychology Press. Kruglanski, A. W., Webster, D. M., & Klem, A. (1993). Motivated resistance and openness to persuasion in the presence of absence of prior information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, Hypothesis People who are more closed-minded will be less likely to hire individuals with a criminal background. People who are given more information will feel more comfortable in making a decision based on hiring an individual with a criminal background. Figure 1. Figure 2. Belief in Rehabilitation Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7.


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