The effect of cognitive load on the processing of employment selection information

Cynthia R. Nordstrom, Karen B. Williams, James M. LeBreton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This research explores how cognitively demanding environments interfere with an individual's ability to evaluate job candidate credentials. Participants' cognitive load was manipulated through an in-basket technique. Impression ratings were collected at two points in time and were assessed for evidence of impression change on the basis of subsequent job-relevant information. Results indicated that individuals under high cognitive load tended to rate the job candidate differently and had more difficulty generating interview questions than their low cognitive load counterparts. Implications for future applied social cognition research and practical recommendations for managers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-318
Number of pages14
Journalbasic and applied social psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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