The influence of rater age and ratee age on occupational suitability judgements: social cognitive consequences of contextual variability
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AbstractThe present study examines the influence of age stereotyping and rater age on occupational suitability judgments. Three theories were examined. Each of the three theories suggests a that a different process is responsible for favourable and unfavourable judgments. Assumed Characteristics theorists suggest that subjects supplement target information with information stored in memory. Expectancy Violation theorists suggest that target information is compared with information stored in memory. Complexity Extremity theorist suggest that target information is additively combined with information stored in memory. The present research attempted to determine the contextual boundaries of each of three theories by comparing and contrasting each theory across three specific contexts. Three selection contexts were chosen. Experiment One examines the influence of ambiguous target information on subject's occupational suitability judgments. Experiment Two examines the influence of expectancy violating target information on subject's occupational suitability judgments. Experiment three examines the influence of ambiguous job requirements on subject's occupational suitability judgments. The overarching hypothesis of the present research is that the processes associated with each of the three theories are most likely to receive support within a limited range of contexts. The context of Experiment One was designed to provide the greatest probability of supporting the process associated with Assumed Characteristics Theory. The context of Experiment Two was designed to provide the greatest probability of supporting the process associated with Expectancy Violation Theory. The context of Experiment Three was designed to provide the greatest probability of supporting the process associated with Complexity Extremity Theory. Each theory received support. The overall findings, however, provided little support for each theory beyond the context specifically designed to support the theory. The findings suggest that very minor variations in the context of a selection situation can result in different processes being utilized by subjects and to the observation of different outcomes.
Bibliography: p. 214-234.
CitationGibson, K. (1991). The influence of rater age and ratee age on occupational suitability judgements: social cognitive consequences of contextual variability (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/20497
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