Diversity Officer Magazine

Cultural diversity recruitment is far from easy. Interviewer bias is a common troublemaker for the best recruitment efforts. Social science research supports this view. In one set of studies, researchers concluded that humans have mirror neurons that activate the prefrontal lobe area of the brain during social encounters. These mirror neurons play a role in decision making. A specific prefrontal lobe region lights up when we encounter people who we perceive as similar to us. A different part of the prefrontal lobe fires up when we encounter people we perceive as dissimilar. Features like gender and race matter to mirror neurons.

More recent studies indicate that the human mirror system is activated automatically in social interactions. Gestures such as facial expressions activate the mirror system. Mirroring occurs unconsciously and it has an effect on our decision making. Furthermore, we tend to project ourselves onto similar people in answering our questions about them. Given that our mirror system influences decision making and the outcome depends on how similar a person is to us, the implications for cultural diversity recruitment success or failure must be studied.

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