Test-Taker Reactions to the Selection Process: Effects of Outcome Favorability, Explanations, and Voice on Fairness Perceptions


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Florence Rolland, Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale et Quantitative, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 24, avenue des Diables Bleus, 06357 Nice Cedex 4, France. E-mail: florolland@hotmail.com or dirk.steiner@unice.fr


This study examined the effects of providing an explanation and voice on fairness perceptions and reactions of test takers under favorable and unfavorable selection decisions. Participants took either a cognitive ability test or an overt integrity test in a simulated selection situation. Then, the voice manipulation was introduced. Participants were informed of the hiring decision with or without an explanation. Results showed that type of test had effects on procedural fairness perceptions such that these reactions were more positive when a cognitive ability test was used. The results of voice and explanation manipulations on fairness perceptions indicated that providing an explanation had a positive effect on perceptions but, surprisingly, face-validity perceptions were less favorable when participants had voice opportunity.