Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Professionals often attribute applicants' success to personal traits, not circumstance

Date:
July 24, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Professionals evaluating graduate school or job applicants frequently attribute applicants' credentials to their personal qualities rather than their circumstances, according to new research.

Professionals evaluating graduate school or job applicants frequently attribute applicants' credentials to their personal qualities rather than their circumstances, according to research published July 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Samuel Swift from the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues from other institutions.

Higher grading schools and work environments that make it easier to succeed can play a significant role in inflating applicants' qualifications. In this study, participants were presented fictitious examples of graduate school applicants with high GPAs from schools with higher grade distributions than students who had lower GPAs from lower-grading schools. The researchers found that participants were more likely to select applicants with high GPAs from higher-grading schools than those who had lower GPAs from lower-grading schools, and their higher grades were also more likely to be attributed to the applicants' individual traits, rather than the school they attended. Similar results were seen when participants were asked to evaluate managers up for a promotion in a business scenario. The study concludes, "Our results indicate that candidates who have demonstrated high performance thanks to favorable situations are more likely to be rated highly and selected. Across all our studies, the results suggest that experts take high performance as evidence of high ability and do not sufficiently discount it by the ease with which that performance was achieved."

Swift explains, "Professionals' admissions and hiring did not differentiate the truly skilled from the fortunate and made their evaluations and selections accordingly. Results from both experimental lab studies and field data from tens of thousands of real MBA admissions decisions show that the good fortune of a favorable situation is just as important as skill and effort in getting hired or admitted."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samuel A. Swift, Don A. Moore, Zachariah S. Sharek, Francesca Gino. Inflated Applicants: Attribution Errors in Performance Evaluation by Professionals. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (7): e69258 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069258

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Professionals often attribute applicants' success to personal traits, not circumstance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200418.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, July 24). Professionals often attribute applicants' success to personal traits, not circumstance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200418.htm
Public Library of Science. "Professionals often attribute applicants' success to personal traits, not circumstance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200418.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins