Nudging Toward Diversity: Applying Behavioral Design to Faculty Hiring

This narrative and integrative literature review synthesizes the literature on when, where, and how the faculty hiring process used in most American higher education settings operates with implicit and cognitive bias. The literature review analyzes the “four phases” of the faculty hiring process, drawing on theories from behavioral economics and social psychology. The results show that although much research establishes the presence of bias in hiring, relatively few studies examine interventions or “nudges” that might be used to mitigate bias and encourage the recruitment and hiring of faculty identified as women and/or faculty identified as being from an underrepresented minority group. This article subsequently makes recommendations for historical, quasi-experimental, and randomized studies to test hiring interventions with larger databases and more controlled conditions than have previously been used, with the goal of establishing evidence-based practices that contribute to a more inclusive hiring process and a more diverse faculty.