The PAAM Lab is primarily focused on applying judgment and decision-making principles to the study of workplace behaviors. Along those lines, we conduct research in the areas of job interview, individual differences risk taking, and the communication of research evidence to lay consumers. Below are some main topics of research:

Pre-employment job interviews. The job interview is one of the most common pre-employment assessment practices. My research focuses on how interviewers integrate information to make hiring decisions, and the biases that come with those judgments. Second, I am interested in how to identify and select expert judges. That is, are some people better at judging and assessing job candidates than others? Finally, I am interested in understanding managers’ resistance against structured interviews.

  • Kausel, E. E., Culbertson, S. S., & Madrid, H. P. (2016). Overconfidence in personnel selection: When and why unstructured interview information can hurt hiring decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 137, 27–44.
  • Highhouse, S., Nye, C.D., & Zhang, D.C. (in press), Dark Motives and Elective Use of Brainteaser Interview Questions. Applied Psychology: An International Review
  • Nolan, K. P., & Highhouse, S. (2014). Need for autonomy and resistance to standardized employee selection practices. Human Performance, 27(4), 328–346.
  • Highhouse, S. (2008). Stubborn reliance on intuition and subjectivity in employee selection. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(3), 333–342.

Individual differences in risk-taking. I am interested in the nature of risk-taking as a personality disposition. Although risky behaviors vary across domains, my previous research has uncovered domain-generalities. That is to say, some people are risk-seeking or risk-avoidant across situations and contexts. My research aims to uncover the nature of risk-taking as a general personality disposition, and its ability to predict real world outcomes such as life satisfaction, academic performance, and counterproductive work behaviors.

  • Highhouse, S., Nye, C. D., Zhang, D. C., & Rada, T. B. (2017). Structure of the Dospert: Is There Evidence for a General Risk Factor? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30(2), 400–406.
  • Yates, J. F., & Stone-Romero, E. (1992). The risk construct. In J. F. Yates (Ed.), Wiley series in human performance and cognition. Ris-taking behavior (pp. 1–25). Oxford, England: John Wiley.
  • Frey, R., Pedroni, A., Mata, R., Rieskamp, J., & Hertwig, R. (2017). Risk preference shares the psychometric structure of major psychological traits. Science Advances, 3(10).
  • Zhang, D.C., Highhouse, S., & Nye. (in press), Development and validation of the general risk propensity scale (GRiPS). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

Communication of research. Research findings in I/O psychology are often complex and hard for a non-expert to understand and interpret. My research involves using alternative metrics and visual aids to enhance the interpretability of statistical information. The goal of this research is to bridge the gap between science and practice by finding ways to make research findings easier to understand.

  • Zhang, D.C. (2018), Utility of alternative effect size statistics and development of a web-based calculator: Shiny-AESC. Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Brooks, M. E., Dalal, D. K., & Nolan, K. P. (2014). Are common language effect sizes easier to understand than traditional effect sizes? The Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(2), 332–400.
  • Kuncel, N. R., & Rigdon, J. (2012). Communicating Research Findings. In Handbook of Psychology (pp. 43–58). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Mattern, K., Kobrin, J., Patterson, B., Shaw, E., & Camara, W. (2009). Validity is in the eye of the beholder: Conveying SAT research findings to the general public. The Concept of Validity: Revisions, New Directions, and Applications, 213–40.