John T. Kulas

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Finkelstein, Lisa M.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Socialization--Psychological aspects; Affirmative action programs; Minorities--Employment; Women--Employment


Programs of preferential selection have previously been shown to impact psychological and behavioral outcomes of protected-class individuals. The newcomer socialization process is a mechanism through which organizational members facilitate transition into work environments. The current study investigated the effects of an experimentally imposed program of preferential selection on the use of specific newcomer socialization behaviors (i.e., proactive information seeking). One hundred twenty undergraduates were randomly assigned to a classification condition (in which they were informed that they tended to think in either an ?analytical? or ?abstract? manner) and collaborated on a task in groups of three. A fourth participant was introduced into each of these 40 extant groups under either a condition of preferential selection or not. The preferential selection manipulation consisted of informing the group?s members that the group?s fourth member was ?needed because abstract/analytical thinkers had been underutilized during the course of the experiment.? The number of information-seeking behaviors engaged in by these fourth group members were recorded, and posttask measures were given to all group members. The presence or absence of a ?similar? (in terms of thinking style) incumbent was shown to moderate the effect of this program of ABSTRACT preferential selection on the use of specific information-seeking behaviors. Implications for future research in both the newcomer socialization and preferential selection domains are discussed.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [91]-98).


ix, 152 pages




Northern Illinois University

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