Cognitive Bias and Decision-Making in the Workplace

Dr. Blacksmith’s primary area of research focuses on understanding decision-making in the workplace. Recently, the US Army Research Institute (ARI) for Behavioral and Social Sciences brought Dr. Blacksmith onto the Foundational Science Research Unit (FSRU) to lead a program of research on cognitive-bias and decision-making in the workplace. This program was developed in response to the Nation Research Council’s (NRC) comprehensive report that identified the domain of cognitive bias a necessary scientific endeavor to aid in preparing a future military force for the uncertainty and complexity the future promises. Broadly, her work examines how the use of cognitive heuristics impairs reasoning and how it plays a role in a wide range of military situations including routine decision-making and even life-and-death disasters. Current projects are investigating individual differences related to susceptibility to cognitive heuristics and moderating contextual factors.


Recruitment and Employee Selection

Dr. Blacksmith’s other research interests and expertise are focused on understanding how organizations can attract, identify, and develop successful employees and leaders. Specifically, she examines the complex role of individuals differences such as intelligence and personality on performance across a wide variety of jobs and industries. In current projects, she is examining nonlinear and interactive relationships between narrow personality traits and narrow performance in leadership roles, effects of technology-mediated assessment in interviews, and target recruitment of high-performing sales associates.


Media Coverage

Bustle (2017). “How Do You Maintain A Professional Atmosphere When Your Company Is Centered Around Sex? These CEOs In Sex Tech Are Leading The Way

Employee Benefit Advisor (2017).Top 10 Trends shaping employee benefits

Department 12 podcast (2017). “Nikki Blacksmith on Technology in Employment Interviews

New York Magazine (2016). “A new study confirms your worst fears about phone interviews

Real Simple Magazine (2016). “One Big Interviewing Mistake You Should Try to Avoid

Business News Daily (2016). “Despite Technology, Face-to-Face Job Interviews Still Make the Best Impression

Oklahoma’s Own News9 (2016). “Job seekers, employers agree: Face-to-face interviews are best

GW Hatchet (2016). “Researchers turn to GW student leaders to study decision-making

GW Today (2016). “In-Person Job Interviews Better Received Than Video and Phone Options

The Globe and Mail (2012). “Expand your candidate pool with targeted recruiting.”