The effects of preferential selection and discrimination on beneficiaries' self-perceived competence and performance

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Tan, Audrey
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University of Guelph

Past research has shown that preferential selection result in negative reactions. The goal of this study is to investigate whether individuals will respond negatively to preferential selection when they perceive that bias against target group members exists in the selection process. In particular, I examine reactions pertaining to self-perceived competence, fairness perceptions, task importance, and performance. I hypothesized that the attributional ambiguity experienced when one is preferentially selected might be alleviated if one receives information about bias in the selection test against their group. A (selection condition: preferential selection vs. no preferential selection) 2 x 2 (discrimination condition: no bias vs. bias) experimental design was used. Participants were undergraduate women ('N' = 85) ostensibly participating in an assessment centre. Results were mixed, but were generally not in line with past research. Participants did not experience adverse reactions from being preferentially selected. However, they experienced adverse reactions to being discriminated against.

individuals, negative response, preferential selection, bias, self-perceived, competence, performance