Safe Space : Contextual and Interpersonal Influences on Self-Disclosure in Pre-Employment Security Vetting Interviews

Winters, Christina and Taylor, Paul and Luther, Kirk (2021) Safe Space : Contextual and Interpersonal Influences on Self-Disclosure in Pre-Employment Security Vetting Interviews. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Despite the growing need for security cleared employees, there is a dearth of research in pre-employment security vetting practices. Interviews are perhaps the most vital and subjective aspect of vetting, and this process relies on the candidate's willingness to self-disclose risk- relevant information. This thesis attempts to measure the effects of interview context and interviewer feedback on risk-relevant self-disclosure. Chapters 1 and 2 respectively contain a literature review and the novel methodology used in the experiments. Chapters 3 and 4 report two between-subject experiments that explored the impact of interview contexts on self-disclosure outcomes. Experiment 1 compared self-disclosure in four contexts: Home, Office, Public, and Online. Results found that Home and Online interviewees self-disclosed at similarly high rates, and both significantly more than Public interviewees. Experiment 2 used a 2x2 factorial design, (Medium: Face-to-face, Virtual-mediated; Location: Home, Office) and found that Face-to-face Home interviewing yielded significantly more self- disclosure over all other conditions. An interaction effect was found for Location, such that Virtual-mediated Home interviewees disclosed significantly more than Virtual-mediated Office interviewees. Chapters 5 and 6 report two multi-part experiments which compare self-disclosure outcomes in groups that receive (self- and other-generated) information about themselves prior to the interview. Experiment 3 found that experimental groups who received a "profile" about themselves (mobile phone activity or personality traits) self-disclosed more than a control group. Experiment 4 compared self-disclosure outcomes between a control group and a group aware of referee reporting on their personality; no differences in self-disclosure were found. Chapter 7 presents a summary of the main findings, outlines limitations, and addresses theoretical and practical implications. This work provides evidence for the phenomenological significance of the home as a space conducive to risk-relevant self-disclosure and supports the notion that the personalisation of interviewer feedback can influence self-disclosure outcomes.

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Thesis (PhD)
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28 Oct 2022 09:55
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16 Jul 2024 06:00