Racial bias in the use of work samples for personnel selection

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Examined the role of evaluation specificity and task relevance in explaining racial bias in the use of work samples. 56 White maintenance mechanics evaluated a videotaped performance of a Black job applicant and a White job applicant performing a relevant task (laying out, drilling, and tapping) and an irrelevant task (indexing drill bits). The applicants were evaluated by using a highly specific behavioral recording form, a global rating scale, or both. Race-linked bias was found only when Ss were asked to make global evaluations after observing an applicant's performance on a task representing irrelevant job behavior. Race-linked bias was not found when Ss used the behavioral recording form or in global evaluations made following the behavioral recordings. Race-linked bias was not evident when evaluations were based on observations of relevant job behavior. It is concluded that by using careful work sample development procedures and by assisting Ss in focusing on and recording relevant behavior, the potential for bias in the use of work samples appears small. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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