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"Similar To Me Effect" in Personnel Selection: The Role of Personality Similarity between Applicants and Raters, and the Similarity Perceived by Raters on Evaluation and Selection

İlknur Özalp Türetgen, Ahu Dinler, Pınar Ünsal
2009; 24(64):47-57

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"Similar to me effect" in personnel selection has been frequently investigated in relation to some demographic factors and attitudes so far. In this study, the effect of personality similarity and perceived similarity between raters and job applicants on the rating and selection decision was investigated. For this purpose, a flm about three pseudo female applicants playing the roles of different applicants’ personalities (an highly extraverted, a low conscientious, an ambiguous applicant) was prepared. Voluntary 177 university students were classifed by their extraversion and conscientiousness personality traits on their NEO-FFI scores. Sixty three participants were assigned to either “high extraversion - low conscientiousness” category or “high conscientiousness - low extraversion” category. After watching the flm the participants were asked to rate each applicant’s qualifcations, their appropriateness for the job and their similarity to themselves, and decide to hire one of them for the job. The results show that real personality similarity between the rater and the applicant is effective on neither evaluations nor hiring decision. However, the similarity perceived by raters toward the applicant affects both their ratings and hiring decision positively.

Keywords: Similarity effect, personnel selection, personality similarity, perceived similarity