Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Basic Psychological Need Fulfillment and User Resistance to Objective and Analytical Decision-Making Practices in Employee Selection

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Scott Highhouse

Second Advisor

Dale Klopfer (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Margaret Brooks (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Fasko (Committee Member)


Two experiments were conducted to examine the reasons underlying practitioners’ resistance to objective and analytical employee selection practices. Working adults (N = 555) were presented with a hypothetical hiring scenario and given instructions for how to identify the most qualified applicant. It was hypothesized that participants would perceive differences in the amount of fulfillment employee selection practices provide for self-determination theory needs and that these differences would affect use intentions. Experiment 1 results suggest that the unstructured interview was perceived as having more potential to fulfill competence, relatedness, and autonomy needs than the structured interview, and that data combination using expert judgment was perceived as having more potential to fulfill competence and autonomy needs than computerized data combination. Manipulation of the need fulfillment potential provided by employee selection practices in Experiment 2 did not significantly affect use intentions. However, results suggest that use intentions were significantly predicted by individual differences in perceived need fulfillment potential for all three self-determination theory needs.