When interviewers desire to confirm negative expectations: Self-fulfilling prophecies and inflated applicant self-perceptions

T. Nicole Judice, Steven Neuberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


We investigated the moderating influence of interviewer goals (accuracy vs. expectation confirmation) on the effects of preinterview expectations in simulated employment interviews. Consistent with past findings, accuracy-motivated interviewers gathered information more thoroughly from their negative-expectation applicants, mitigating the effects of their expectations. In contrast, confirmation-goal interviewers (a) asked their negative-expectation applicants relatively few questions, leading them to perform relatively poorly; and (b) displayed greater interpersonal warmth toward them, in an apparent attempt to mask the social undesirability of their goal. The interaction of few questions asked and great interpersonal warmth led the negative-expectation applicants to overestimate greatly the quality of their performance. These findings point to the costs associated with having interviewers motivated to confirm negative preinterview expectations and illustrate more generally the critical moderating role of social motives in expectation-tinged encounters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-190
Number of pages16
JournalBasic and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

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