SOCIAL COMMUNICATIVE ANXIETY AND THE PERSONNEL SELECTION PROCESS: TESTING THE SIMILARITY EFFECT IN SELECTION DECISIONS

Authors

  • JOHN A. DALY,

    1. John A. Daly (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1977) is assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712.
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  • VIRGINIA PECK RICHMOND,

    1. Virginia Peck Richmond (Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 1977) is assistant professor of speech communication at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506.
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  • STEVEN LETH

    1. Steven Leth (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1976) is assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas. Earlier versions of portions of this article were presented at the 1975 annual meeting of the International Communication Association in Portland, Oregon, and the 1976 annual meeting of the International Communication Association in Berlin, West Germany. This study accepted forpublicationApril 11, 1979.
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Abstract

Three studies tested competing predictions about the role of similarity in personnel selection decisions. Previous research suggests a significant role for applicant-selector similarity in the determination of selection decisions. Applicants who are similar to selectors are evaluated, by selectors, more positively than dissimilar applicants. The current investigations found that when the object of similarity is the applicant's and selector's level of anxiety, this relationship fails to appear. Regardless of the selector's own level of anxiety, the high anxious applicant is less positively evaluated than the low anxious one. This effect appears even when the communication demands of the position are specified.

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