Priming Effects of LinkedIn Advertisements on Evaluations of Applicants
The purpose of this thesis was to explore the priming effects of LinkedIn advertisements on evaluations of applicants. Social media, such as LinkedIn, are now frequently used in personnel selection to screen job applicants (Caers & Castelyns, 2011; Zide, Ellman, & Shahani-Denning, 2014). However, the effects of relying on such tools for selection purposes are unknown. Moreover, LinkedIn contains advertisements, and advertisements can unintentionally bias later behaviours, due to priming (Harris, Bargh, & Brownell, 2009). Two experiments were conducted to study potential priming effects of LinkedIn advertisements on evaluations of applicants. In the first experiment, 104 participants evaluated three job applicants based on their LinkedIn profile, which contained different advertisements. In the second experiment, 510 participants evaluated only one applicant profile. Results showed that, in both experiments, the advertisements did not prime subsequent evaluations of applicants. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.