Experiment Research Design – Fake Employment News

Introduction / Problem Statement

Fake news is based on propaganda and evolves from yellow journalism. It consists of hoaxes or deliberate miscommunication spread through digital and print media. The intention behind fake news (Fabricated) is to mislead people through exaggerated, sensational and false headline to grab attention. The common types of fake news are false connection and contents, imposter content, fabricated and manipulated contents (Goodspeed, 2017).

Problem statement — Fake Employment News Context

The fake employment news can be divided into categories. First, the private sector misleading advertisements such as job emphasise single appealing thing about the position, lower position advertising with fancy job title, position advertises as white-collar but later lower level position. Second, the statistics released through unemployment report by the government. Such reports include an estimate which can be positive or negative because some business might have missed unemployment survey (Schaeken et al., 2014).

Therefore, government estimating job creation based on estimation which result in suspicious and thus, fake employment news. Moreover, this fake employment news explains one side of story; there are job seekers who are distressed from unethical communication and result in negative abnormalities (Brinkley, 2013).

Knowledge Gap

Misleading employment news creates difficulty and a great deal of hardship for job seekers. In some scenarios, scammers use bogus jobs which cause job seeker money and stress. Previous studies on misleading employment ads focus on the job not providing enough information such as nature of work or terms and type of employment.

Moreover, the misleading news includes not communicating the actual job and misleading through training schemes and vague description about the job (Mathews and Redman, 2001; Rafaeli, 2006; Arup, 2006; Feldman, Bearden and M, 2006).

The government estimations based on survey and thus, one could suspect reliability of government statistics. The basis of unethical communication is the effect of bad experience on job seekers and negative abnormalities (Kaye, 2010; Brinkley, 2013).

Therefore, this research intends to fill the knowledge gap through examining job seekers perspective that how they analyse and evaluate fake employment news. The goal is to understand how job seekers differentiate controversial news from actual news and consequent affect perceived deception, attitude towards employment news and intention.

Research Aim and questions

The aim of this study is to understand how job seekers analyse and evaluate the employment news. The purpose is to measure the effect on job seekers how they differentiate controversial news from actual news and consequent affect perceived deception, attitude towards employment news and intention.

The focus of study is to develop an understanding the extent to which job seekers affected by nature and type of employment news. The research questions include

  • Do applicants filter employment ads and based on which fundamentals they are capable of differentiating controversial ads from actual ads as perceived deceptive?
  • Do applicants understand or interpret the ads, so that they can decide afterwards whether they are a fake or not and develop a favourable attitude?
  • Do nature and type of news affect applicants’ intention for joining company?

The presumed relationship model for this study

Proposed research hypothesis and framework

In order to answer the research questions, the three hypotheses are proposed.

H1: Participants will be able to identify nature and type of fake news and design as deceptive

H2: Participants will have unfavourable attitude towards the fake employment news

H3: Participants will have a negative intention for fake employment news

Research Methodology

In this research, deductive research approach along with quantitative research method will be used. The research design is based on experimental and survey will used to collect participant’s response (Rose, Spinks and Canhoto, 2014). The diagram below enclosed the research methodology researcher intended to use

research methodology

Research approach – Deductive approach

Deductive approach involves developing hypotheses based on existing theory and designing a research strategy to confirm the hypothesis. In deductive context, it means reasoning from particular to the general. Deductive approach is concerned with deducting results or conclusions from proposition or premises. Deductive reasoning starts with expected patterns for phenomena and tests against the observations (Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2010).

The deductive approach will be used. It proceeds from theoretical data to empirical studies and on the basis of existing information; a hypothesis is created subject to empirical scrutiny.

To effectively confirm the hypothesis, a specific level of information will be used. The hypothesis based on research theory defines the data collection process. The final step include is the interpretation of to reformulate the original theory. This allows binding the results to previous research and theories in the area (Schaeken et al., 2014). The diagram below enclosed the deductive approach model

deductive approach model

Research method – Quantitative approach

Quantitative research method will be used to collect primary data. According to Creswell (2013), quantitative research focuses on quantification for data collection and analysis. It involves a deductive approach with the focus on theory testing and uses empirical research to answer research questions.

Quantitative research is useful when phenomena already exist and it examines causes. The benefit of quantitative research is that the collected data can be easy processes and results are clear and interpretable. The generalized nature of research enables the researcher to work with the larger population.

The disadvantage of quantitative research is that deeper research question such as ‘how’ and ‘what’ cannot be answered. The quantitative research will be useful for this study as it intended to measure differences rather answering underlying reasons (Hoy and Adams, 2015).

Research design – Quasi- Experimental research

The study will use quasi-experimental research design based on recommendations of Bryman and Bell (2014) and Campbell and Stanley (2015) to investigate a causal relationship. In a Quasi-experiment the groups will be exposed to manipulated news and control group is exposed to. The comparison of results from the control group and test will allow the examination of news approach by the applicants. Quasi-experiment is useful when aim is to explain the human behaviour (Edmonds and Kennedy, 2012).

The experiment for this study is ‘posttest-only control group design’ and in such design, there are two groups involved. One group is known as test group whereas other group is known as the control group. In this study, the test group will be given fake news whereas as control group will be exposed to quality employment news.

Once the experiment is completed, the participants will be asked to complete the survey. The purpose is to measure how applicants differentiate controversial ads from actual ads and consequent affect perceived deception, attitude towards employment news and effect on intention (Campbell and Stanley, 2015).

Quasi experiment design

Procedure for experiment

Researcher plans to conduct the experiment at university premises among the students and graduates. The experiment will be conducted in the batches of around 25 students. A five-minute introduction about the project and participant will be informed that their participation is voluntary. After the experiment, the student will be asked to fill out online-survey on their smartphone.

Quantitative Research instrument – survey

Once experiment will be completed, the participants will be asked to complete the survey. One of common survey tool is the questionnaire and for this study, an online questionnaire will be designed. The benefits of the questionnaire are that large volume of information can be collected from the large population and it has limited effect on reliability and validity of results. The survey would allow measuring the participants’ reactions to the treatment.

For this study, the survey will be designed in a continuous manner so that reaction of participants can measure through a form value between two extreme variables. The questionnaire will be design based on ‘Likert Scale’ as it is easy to design and acquire broader perspective among the groups and consequently measures the differences of respondent level of involvement (Tracy, 2012).

Ethical positions and participants

According to Bryman and Bell (2014), in quantitative research, there are numbers ethical dilemma can arise in quantitative research. The four ethical guidelines are

Source: (Thyer, 2012)

Expected results

The expected results will measure how applicants differentiate controversial ads from actual ads and consequent affect perceived deception, attitude towards employment news and intention. The first hypothesis will measure if participants will be able to identify nature and type of news and design as deceptive. This will allows understanding whether people can differentiate between nature and types of news (Edmonds and Kennedy, 2012).

The second hypothesis will measure participants will have a favourable attitude towards the quality employment news ad than the ambiguous news. This would allow understanding how people evaluate the employment news and consequently, it affects the attitude of people.

Finally, the third hypothesis will measure participants will have a higher joining intention for the company for quality employment news ad than the ambiguous news. This will show how participants inclined toward the employers based on the news. To ensure the reliability of results, Cronbach’s alpha and t-test for participants will be used (Etikan, Musa and Alkassim, 2016).

Sampling and participation selection

For this study, researchers will use purposeful sampling to select the participants from recent business economics and law students and graduates. The selection criteria will be based on the potential to add to the understanding of procedures and processes on job news evaluation. In purposeful selection strategy, activities, person and settings are deliberately defined in order to collect information which cannot be collected from other choices. The sample size for the study is 100 participants (Etikan, Musa and Alkassim, 2016).


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