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Stubborn Reliance on Intuition and Subjectivity in Employee Selection


Scott Highhouse. E-mail:


The focus of this article is on implicit beliefs that inhibit adoption of selection decision aids (e.g., paper-and-pencil tests, structured interviews, mechanical combination of predictors). Understanding these beliefs is just as important as understanding organizational constraints to the adoption of selection technologies and may be more useful for informing the design of successful interventions. One of these is the implicit belief that it is theoretically possible to achieve near-perfect precision in predicting performance on the job. That is, people have an inherent resistance to analytical approaches to selection because they fail to view selection as probabilistic and subject to error. Another is the implicit belief that prediction of human behavior is improved through experience. This myth of expertise results in an overreliance on intuition and a reluctance to undermine one’s own credibility by using a selection decision aid.