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Stanford study shows how job candidates show their emotions may result in hiring disparities, workplace bias

What emotions job candidates choose to display during interviews often varies by culture, and may be the source of hiring bias, Stanford researchers found. (Image credit: Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images)

Jul 6 2018

Posted In:

Faculty, In the News

Stanford study suggests that the emotions American employers are looking for in job candidates may not match up with emotions valued by jobseekers from some cultural backgrounds – potentially leading to hiring bias.

By Melissa De Witte

Job applicants who want to appear calm and collected might be at a disadvantage. According to a new Stanford study, American employers are more likely to favor excited over relaxed candidates.

This is one of several findings psychology Professor Jeanne Tsai and former graduate student Lucy Zhang Bencharit reveal in a paper published July 5 in Emotion that examines how the cultural differences of how emotions are displayed could bias hiring decisions.

“Given how diverse our workforce is and how global our markets are, it’s important to understand how culture might influence emotional preferences in employment settings,” said Tsai, who directs the Culture and Emotion Lab in the Psychology Department at Stanford’s School for Humanities and Sciences.