Tracking Bias: Using Eye-Tracking To Measure The Effects Of Cognitive Control In Hiring Situations

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Richard Blake Wagner (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Christopher Dickinson

Abstract: The use of social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter is becoming increasingly popular in both academic and professional research settings. While they are a valuable tool, many have raised ethical concerns about the access to protected class information such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. Although access to this information through a social media page is legal, the use of these discriminatory factors in hiring situations is an illegal and unethical practice. Little research has been done on how to mitigate the effects of biases formed from these factors. The current study used eye-tracking technology to investigate whether a cognitive control message can affect people’s ability to control what they look at during a simulated hiring situation. Overall, I found evidence consistent with the use of cognitive control in simulated hiring situations as seen by fewer fixations on average less frequent average fixations and shorter fixation durations to target words as well as to the profile picture and biographical information section of the profiles. Individuals given a cognitive control inducing message exhibited patterns of oculomotor behavior consistent with the use of cognitive control using top-down information to reduce but not completely prevent fixations to protected class information contained within the profiles.

Additional Information

Wagner, R. (2018). "Tracking Bias: Using Eye-Tracking To Measure The Effects Of Cognitive Control In Hiring Situations." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Cognitive, Control, Hiring, Social Media

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