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 Disregarding Preliminary Information When Rating Job Applicants Performance: Mission Impossible?1

Firms allocate considerable resources to test job applicants skills and to ensure that hiring decisions are nondiscriminatory. Interpreting selection output in light ofpreliminary information may undermine the impartiality of personnel selection decisions. In this study, human resource managers were presented preliminary information about a candidates performance and asked to rate him according to a detailed assessment-center report of his performance. We examined several interventions for reducing reliance on preliminary information: retrieving assessment-center information, generating a rating model, or both. Participants (N = 167) excluded preliminary information from the interventions, but relied on it when rating the candidate. The documented failure to control for the effects of preliminary information on subsequent judgments can contribute to improved selection procedures.