A lot, actually. According to a peer-reviewed study by Jonathan Levav, a professor at Columbia University, an inmate is between two and six times more likely to be released if they are one of the first three prisoners considered in the day versus the last three prisoners considered. After looking at more than 1,000 rulings in 2009, the study concluded that a favorable ruling for prisoner release peaked at the beginning of the day, steadily declining through the day from a probability of 65% to zero, and then “spiking back up to about 65% after a [judge’s] break for a meal or snack.”
Levav's study concluded that a judge who is well-rested and full-bellied is more lenient than one that is not.
What the study really revealed is that humans are humans, and that bias comes in many forms. What we know is that human recruiters and talent acquisition professionals suffer from the same bias and glucose fluctuations as the rest of us. They have good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours.
But here’s the good news: our Bright Score is there to do the bleary work of evaluating resumes when you're hungry, sleepy, or stressed. The Bright Score is a recruiter's and job seeker's best personal assistant.
P.S. See the study here: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Thanks to Matthew Stollak, a professor of Business Administration and P.h.D in HR, for sending this along.