Orientations Toward Personnel Selection: Differential Reliance on Appearance and Personality

Mark Snyder, Ellen Berscheid, Alana Matwychuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


In two studies we examined the hypothesis that the psychological construct of self-monitoring would identify people who adopt distinctly different strategies in personnel selection. In both experiments, undergraduates examined information about the physical appearance and personalities of two applicants for a specific job and then decided which applicant should receive a job offer. In Study 1 information about the applicants' physical attractiveness and job-appropriate dispositions was varied. In Study 2 job appropriateness of the applicants' physical appearance and of their personalities were both varied. In each study, high self-monitoring individuals placed greater weight on information about physical appearance than did low self-monitoring individuals. By contrast, low self-monitoring individuals put greater weight on information about personal dispositions than did high self-monitoring individuals. We discuss the implications for understanding personnel selection as well as for decision making in interpersonal contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-979
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1988


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