Relationship between expectancy, causal attributions, and final hiring decisions in the employment interview

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Abstract

Determined the effect of early expectancies on an interviewer's causal interpretations of an applicant's past performance outcomes. 72 students each read a series of 10 transcripts that they believed had been taken from an actual interview. Each transcript dealt with a single educational or work-related outcome, with 5 of the transcripts dealing with success situations and 5 with failure situations. Prior to reading the transcripts, each S received a letter of reference, thus creating an expectancy: 24 Ss received a favorable letter of reference, 24 received an unfavorable letter, and 24 received a neutral letter. Results suggest that an interviewer with an unfavorable expectancy is likely to give the applicant less credit for past successes and to hold the applicant more personally responsible for past failures. Results also indicate that the final decision to accept or reject an applicant is closely related to these causal interpretations of past outcomes. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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