Date of Graduation

Spring 2011

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Robert Jones

Keywords

assessment centers, behavior reporting method, within exercise method, selection, prejudice

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Unlike other popular selection methods, assessment centers offer a combination of both high predictive accuracy and low adverse impact against under-represented groups. However, there is no research examining why assessments centers have little adverse impact. The present study explored whether the two most common rating approaches used in assessment centers-the behavioral reporting and within exercise methods- lead to differential rating bias and accuracy. Additionally, the present study investigated whether instructions to withhold judgment prior to making ratings would impact accuracy. It was hypothesized that there would be less prejudice and greater accuracy in the behavioral reporting method and with instructions to withhold judgment. A sample of 149 participants watched videos of a candidate performing three exercises and made ratings of performance and recommendation to hire. Ratings were made either after each exercise or after viewing and discussing all three exercises. ANOVAs were used to test hypotheses. Contrary to expectations, rating processes affected rating outcomes in the opposite direction, such that within exercise ratings showed less prejudice than behavioral reporting method ratings. There was no significant effect of instructions. Conclusions are discussed in light of both basic research on prejudice and applied questions regarding the assessment center method.

Copyright

© Nicole Elizabeth Friedman

Campus Only

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