Dr. Esther Kroll

Portrait Foto Esther Kroll (Martina Sander, WZB)
Martina Sander, WZB


esther.kroll [at] medicalschool-hamburg.de
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
A 110
Former Scholarship Holder des Promotionskollegs

Research fields

Ethnic discrimination in personnel selection | Discrimination in active sourcing and outside recruitment | Stereotypical attitudes against minorities


Esther Kroll was a scholarship-holder in the doctoral program “Good Work” in the thematic area “Good Work and migration” under supervision of Dr. Susanne Veit (WZB) and Prof. Dr. Matthias Ziegler (Psychological diagnostics, HU Berlin). In her research project she was interested in how far ethnic stereotypes affect personnel selection. She earned her doctoral degree in October 2022 with her thesis on "Meta-Stereotyping in Contemporary Recruitment: A Powerful Source of Ethnic Discrimination.“

since 2016

Research fellow and scholarship holder in the doctoral program "Good Work", WZB, Berlin

2015 - 2016

Research fellow at the LIFE Child Research Center, faculty of medicine at the Universität Leipzig, Leipzig

2007 - 2014

Studies of psychology at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin


I. Dissertation

Implicit associations in personnel selection: To what extent does stereotyping trigger the discrimination of ethnically diverse job candidates?

In her dissertation, Esther reseraches if attitudes toward minorities affect the selection of ethnically diverse job candidates. Her focus is on early personnel decisions, the so called personnel pre-selection. This pre-selection is often conducted by recruiters.

Recruiters have their own attitudes toward ethnically diverse candidates, but they also draw strong conclusions about the company’s preferences. Both sources might result in discriminatory personnel pre-selections. Additionally it is the question if own attitudes are shaped subsequently by the conclusions about the preferences.

Esther applies a mixed method approach with a strong focus on quantitative, experimental research designs to examine these research questions.

II. Interdisciplinary transfer: discrimination meets digitalization

Visual Society Program (ViSoP): Making invisible things visible - discrimination in digital HR applications

In this projects Esther is working in an interdisciplinary team, together with a sociologist and two designers. The common goal is to develop visual solutions that give access to the very complex topic of discrimination in digital HR applications to a broad audience, also outside of science.

In regular meetings the scientists and the designers are constantly sharing knowledge and developing creative solutions. They are using design thinking as a technique for creative teamwork.

As first result, we presented an interactive poster at the Long Night of Sciences 2018. The poster's title is "Digitalization through rose colored glasses". If people wear rose or blue colored glasses, they are able to see the hopes and concerns that employees expressed when they were asked about the implementation of digital systems in their companies.

WZB: Kathleen Warnhoff & Esther Kroll
UdK: Doreen Baldauf & Sascha (Aleksandra) Bespalova

Information on ViSoP:

Selected Publications

Kroll, E., Veit, S., & Ziegler, M. (2021). The Discriminatory Potential of Modern Recruitment Trends—A Mixed-Method Study From German. Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 634376. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.634376

Herrmann, J., Vogel, M., Pietzner, D., Kroll, E., Wagner, O., Schwarz, S., Müller, E., Kiess, W., Richter, M. & Poulain, T. (2018). Factors associated with the emotional health of children: high family income as a protective factor. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 27(3), 319-328. doi:10.1007/s00787-017-1049-0

Kroll, E. & Ziegler, M. (2016): Discrimination due to ethnicity and gender: How susceptible are video-based job interviews? International Journal of Selection and Assessment 24(2), 161 – 171. doi:10.1111/ijsa.12138