Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Motivated Reasoning: A Framework for Understanding Hiring Managers' Intentions to Use Personnel Selection Instruments

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Hakel Milton


Findings from the theory of motivated reasoning (Kunda, 1987, 1990) are used to develop a model that describes the decision-making process used by managers to determine whether to use selection instruments (i.e., intelligence tests, personality tests, job knowledge tests, structured interviews, and unstructured interviews). It was predicted that hiring managers experience a biased memory when recalling hiring applicants, thus affecting both confidence in hiring ability and intentions to use selection instruments. Partial support for the biased memory model was found. However, manipulating participants’ memories regarding hiring experiences did not affect confidence in hiring ability. Additionally, the memory manipulation only affected intentions to use structured interviews. The proposed model should be revised to include characteristics of the selection instrument as well as attributional processes.