Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Going With Your Gut: An Investigation of Why Managers Prefer Intuitive Employee Selection

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Scott Highhouse (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Milton Hakel (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Mary Hare (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Amelia Carr (Committee Member)


Although previous research supports the use of analytical selection over intuitive selection, many employers continue to hold on to the belief they can hire the best employees by relying on their intuition without the assistance of decision aids. In this study, the relationship of selection decision making style (i.e., preference for intuition vs. analysis) to thinking style, decisiveness, experience, and other professional characteristics was examined. Additionally, hiring context (salaried vs. hourly) was investigated experimentally. Results indicated that HR professionals are more likely to prefer intuitive selection if they have an experiential thinking style, work for a small company, have fewer years of experience, or are not SPHR certified. Alternatively, HR professionals prefer an analytical style when they work for a large company, or are hiring lower level, hourly, employees.