Effects of Goat Framing in Job Advertisements on Organizational Attractiveness1


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    Portions of this research were presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, Illinois, August 1999. We thank Michael Billings, DayValena Colling, Tania Fay, and Molly Joyce for their assistance with data collection.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Todd J. Thorsteinson, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 443043, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-3043. E-mail: tthorste@uidaho.edu


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of goal framing in job advertisements on organizational attractiveness. Job ads were created that emphasized the potential costs or losses of not applying (i.e., loss frame) or the potential gains or benefits of applying (i.e., gain frame). The first experiment (N= 70) found that participants were more attracted to the company in the gain-framed ad than in the loss-framed ad. The second experiment (N= 100) attempted to determine the reason for the greater attractiveness of the gain-framed ad compared to the loss-framed ad. Two possible explanations— valence-based encoding and regulatory focus—were examined. Results suggest that both valence-based encoding and regulatory focus mediated the relationship between framing and organizational attractiveness.