Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara K. Sholley

Second Advisor

Dr. William E. Walker


The following research examined the differences in two modes of presentation within the employee interview situation; the letter of reference and the job interview. Past research has failed to examine these two modes presented in succession to the same subjects to ascertain the more salient mode. In the present research this was detennined by pairing a letter of reference with an incongruent job interview to see which mode has the greater influence on the decision to hire. Information on a woman applicant was presented to 40 male and 40 female college business students via these two modes. Main effects were found for reference and videotape on the decision to hire variable . This indicates that both modes of presentation were determining factors in the employment interview. These results did not replicate the previous findings of Enscore and Shelley presented to introductory psychology students. A reference by interview by sex interaction was found for the decision to hire variable when first presenting a good or bad letter of reference followed by an incongruent job interview. These results showed while type of reference information provided did affect the amount of power of the interview, the interview was the more salient variable. The discrepancy found in these results can best be attributed to the differences in the subject populations. In general, the business students were more influenced by the negative information regardless of its means of presentation.

Included in

Psychology Commons