Discrimination Can Block Pathways into Organizations

Discrimination in the workplace is unfortunately still a problem that needs a solution. There is inescapable evidence that many types of people experience discrimination at various decision points in a career. For example, selection, salary negotiation, and promotions, are all decision points that provide an opportunity for measurable discrimination to appear. New research (Milkman, Akinola, & Chugh, 2015) focuses instead on career “pathways,” or the process that leads up to obtaining a job. If someone has a clear pathway to a job, they may be more likely to be hired when the selection decision is made. However, a pathway can be blocked with obstacles (such as discrimination) that make it difficult for a person to succeed at a later decision point.

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Stereotypes and Employment Discrimination Against Cancer Survivors


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Selection BIAS: Stereotypes and discrimination related to having a history of cancer.
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

Employment discrimination harmfully affects many types of people, and new research indicates that cancer survivors may be among the victims. This is especially troubling, because after a cancer diagnosis, people must overcome many challenging obstacles to enter and remain in remission. Yet, these same individuals may also have a more difficult time obtaining employment. A recent study (Martinez, White, Shapiro, & Hebl, 2016) examined the stereotypes associated with cancer survivors and the workplace-related implications of these stereotypes for both individuals and organizations.

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Ethnic and Gender Discrimination When Reviewing Job Resumes


Publication: Personnel Psychology (2015)
Article: Double Jeopardy Upon Resume Screening: When Achmed is Less Employable than Aisha.
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Job resumes are essential in making hiring decisions as they provide necessary information about applicants during the initial screening stages. However, resume screening is highly susceptible to psychological biases, and raters or screeners may rely on mental shortcuts that lead to inaccurate assessments, especially when relevant applicant information appears to be lacking. New research (Derous, Ryan & Serlie, 2015) explored how characteristics of the job and rater attitudes (ethnic prejudice, sexism) combine to influence the decisions of recruiters when limited information was provided in resumes.

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Emotional Intelligence Leads to Good Moods and Creativity in the Workplace


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2015
Article: Regulating and Facilitating: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Maintaining and Using Positive Affect for Creativity
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Emotional intelligence is good for influencing many workplace outcomes, but can it really lead to creativity in the workplace? Some past researchers believed that the two had nothing to do with each other. They said that emotional intelligence was about figuring out the single best way to handle an emotional situation and creativity was about brainstorming many different ways of doing things. These almost sound like opposite strategies. But new research (Parke, Seo, Sherf, 2015) has found that skills and strategies associated with emotional intelligence can ultimately lead to more creativity in the workplace.

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Which Type of Personality Leads to Workplace Safety?


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: A Meta-Analysis of Personality and Workplace Safety: Addressing Unanswered Questions
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Workplace safety is a major concern for organizations. Accidents involving employees can jeopardize the safety of everyone at work, and be enormously costly for employers, in terms of lawsuits, insurance, and lost productivity. Research has long extolled the virtues of creating a safety climate, which means setting organizational policy to reflect the fact that safe behavior is important, expected, and will be rewarded. But there is another way to make sure that employees engage in safe practices on the job. We can hire “safer” people in the first place. The authors of the current study (Beus, Dhanani, & McCord, 2015) wanted to identify the personality traits that are associated with safe behavior.

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The Strange Story Behind Situational Judgment Tests: What Do They Really Measure?


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: How “Situational” Is Judgment in Situational Judgment Tests?
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Situational judgment tests are often used during employee selection. They present the job applicant with a series of situations that may be encountered on the job. For example, one situation might include an anecdote about a co-worker encouraging you to steal. For each situation, several different responses are listed. Applicants simply choose the response that seems most appropriate. Because these tests are (hopefully) designed by I-O psychologists or other highly trained experts, certain answers are designed to reflect behavior that is consistent with good job performance. The more the applicant choses these “good” answers, the more certain we are that the applicant will succeed on the job if hired.

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Intelligence Testing in Selection: New Developments


Publication: Human Resource Management Review
Article: Implications of modern intelligence research for assessing intelligence in the workplace
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

Intelligence testing in selection is often critical because intelligence allows employees to innovate and problem solve. This article (Agnello, Ryan, & Yusko, 2015) reviews the most up-to-date perspectives for conceptualizing and measuring intelligence.

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The Role of Storytelling in Effective Structured Job Interviews


Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology
Article: Storytelling in the selection interview? How applicants respond to past behavior questions
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

It’s no surprise that I-O psychologists recommend using structured job interviews when selecting someone for a position. This is because structured interviews are far better predictors of performance than are informal, unstructured interviews. As part of a structured interview, two types of questions may be asked – situational questions (e.g., “What would you do if you disagreed with your supervisor?”) or behavioral questions (e.g., “Tell me about a time that you disagreed with your supervisor”).

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Can Proctored Internet-Based Selection Tests Really Stop Cheating?


Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology
Article: Cheating, reactions, and performance in remotely proctored testing: An exploratory experimental study
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

In order to curb potential cheating, many organizations have started using remotely proctored internet tests. But do they actually work? And could they have unintended consequences?

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How to Design a Resume That Will Get You Hired


Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology
Article: Effects of applicant personality on resume evaluations
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

When writing your resume, you probably thought about how potential employers might perceive you. Many articles and books give advice regarding what to include and how to design a resume, but many of those authors don’t actually agree on what method works best. A recent exploratory study discovered what personality traits people attribute to different parts of your resume, and how hirable they might make you appear.

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