Disclosure of negative information in letters of recommendation: Writers' intentions and readers' experiences

Christopher L. Grote, William N. Robiner, Allyson Haut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Do letters of recommendation contain accurate information about applicants for psychology internships? A 2-part national survey was conducted to investigate how writers of letters of recommendation for applicants for internships in psychology deal with negative characteristics of applicants when they are thought to exist. One hundred seventy-five psychologists who had recently written letters of recommendation generally claimed in their responses that they would disclose information about some negative characteristics. In contrast, a 2nd sample of 116 psychologists who had recently read letters of recommendation indicated in their responses that negative characteristics are infrequently described in letters of recommendation. Therefore, one cannot presume that letters fully disclose applicants' limitations and problems, and mechanisms to enhance disclosure are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

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