Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Indeed's 'Search for greatness' advertisement

Indeed is the world's largest job-searching site and aims to tackle the issue of unconscious bias in job recruitment through their new advertisement. Through utilising the method of perspective-taking, Indeed seeks to encourage employers to proactively consider talent they may otherwise have overlooked as a result of stereotyped views of attributes irrelevant to job qualification such as skin colour, age, religious belief and area of residence (to note some of the cues mentioned by the narrator in the campaign).

Research has demonstrated that taking a specific point of view makes information relevant to this perspective salient and accessible and this newly highlighted information then goes on to impact judgement. This was seen in research by Iyengar (1991 in Pratkanis, 2007) who found that the reporting of crime events as either specific disrete happenings or more abstractly, within a broader story affected individuals' subsequent ratings of where responsibility should be located. The individual perpetrator was deemed responsible in more focused reporting while wider social forces were held responsible in more general reports.

Indeed utilises this effect in its method of transporting the viewer into the perspective of the job-seeker, an appeal being made from the individual to prospective employers. This places the viewer into the role of powerful other, utilising the dependency-responsibility altercast identified by Pratkanis (2007). The viewer is placed into the role of recruiter, and the narrator takes the role of the individual dependent on our consciousness to not give in to biases (which would jeopardise their chances of employment).

This message is emphasised by the first and last shots of the advert, where the CV covers and then reveals the narrator's face - driving home the centrality of being assessed as a candidate by his qualifications over any other attribute.

Pratkanis, A. R. (2007). Social influence analysis: An index of tactics. The science of social influence: Advances and future progress, 17-82.

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