Applicant Reactions to Selection Systems: Stereotype Threat in Online and Paper-Pencil Administration

Open Access
Klein, Stephanie Rachel
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 20, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Committee Chair
  • James Lewis Farr, Committee Chair
  • Janet Swim, Committee Member
  • Michael L Hecht, Committee Member
  • stereotype threat
  • ethnic differences
  • cognitive ability tests
  • situational judgment tests
  • selection testing
  • applicant reactions
  • online administration
This study expands the applicant reactions and stereotype threat literature with a comparison of online and paper-and-pencil test administration. Black and White undergraduates completed a management potential assessment online and on paper, and were asked to complete it as if they were truly applying for an entry-level management job. In the Bias (standard stereotype threat) condition, participants were told that the situational judgment test they were completing was a test of cognitive ability, more commonly known as intelligence. In the Non-Bias condition, participants were also told that the test they were about to take had been shown to eliminate performance differences between ethnic groups. Although the Non-Bias instructions failed to significantly reduce the score gap between Black and White participants, analysis largely supported the hypothesis that applicants would react more positively to the online administration method than to paper administration.