Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Richard N. Landers

Committee Member

Xiaoxiao Hu

Committee Member

Bryan Porter


Research has shown that although cognitive testing is key to quality hiring, applicants often react poorly to cognitive ability tests. Applicant reactions theory indicates that time-length judgments of a selection procedure can affect applicant perceptions. It was thus hypothesized that game-framing, the act of labeling something a game without changing the content, would cause participants to perceive that time was moving faster while completing a battery of cognitive ability tests. Similarly, it was expected that game-framing would increase test motivation and decrease test anxiety. Perceived length was tested as a mediator for the effects of game-framing on test anxiety and on test motivation. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the hypothesized relationships. In the observed dataset, game-framing caused decreases in perceived length, perceived length was positively related to test motivation, and perceived length mediated the relationship between game-framing and test motivation. The results of this study demonstrate that game-framing affects time perceptions. This finding has implications for gamification researchers, namely, that game-framing effects should be measured and accounted for in future studies. Furthermore, applicant reactions theorists have suggested that perceived time length is a key variable in the overall applicant reactions model, and this study is the first to empirically investigate perceived time length of a selection procedure in this context. Results indicate that perceived length may not relate to other applicant reaction variables as predicted by applicant reactions theory.


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