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    Heuristics and Bias in Applicant Selection

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    Your firm is hiring a new marketing manager. You and one of the other senior managers has been interviewing candidates. A candidate just completed the interview process and has the following skills, background and characteristics:

    Hispanic Woman
    Masters Degree in Marketing
    Worked in a similar position with a competitor for the past 20 years

    You are very pleased with this candidate and feel she meets and exceeds all the requirements for the position. The other manager; however, does not agree with your assessment replying only that he does not think this person is a good fit and that the search should continue. You press the issue to find out why; however, your fellow manager does not divulge or discuss any of his rationale and simply repeats he does not think this candidate is a good fit.


    Based on your review of this situation answer each of the following questions:

    1. What type(s) of heuristic may be present in formulating your co-workers opinion? Explain how you came to your conclusions (support your findings).
    2. Are there possible legal and ethical implications that can result from making a hiring decision based on your co-workers opinion?
    3. After your analysis for parts 1 & 2 (above) what do you think you should say to your co-worker?
    4. How would you convince him that this person is right for the job and should be hired?

    References are to be provided in APA style.

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    Solution Preview

    Interesting questions! First, let's get a general understanding of how a heuristic operates, and then address each question, which you can then draw on for your final copy. I also attached two excellent resources.


    According to Anissimov (2004), heuristics save time and effort, but often fail utterly when presented with data outside of their "domain of expertise". These failures tend to difficult to notice, because 1) the thinking processes responsible for judging the overall quality of our thinking processes are plagued by these biases as well, and 2) they are so widespread and natural that few people notice them, and 3) decisions made based on heuristics feel good - they're intuitively satisfying regardless of their correctness" (Anissimov, 2004). (see article attached)

    1. What type(s) of heuristic may be present in formulating your co-workers opinion? Explain how you came to your conclusions (support your findings).

    It seems that the co-worker is using a cognitive heuristic often referred to as a cultural bias.

    Cultural bias is the phenomenon of interpreting and judging phenomena in terms particular to one's own culture. Cultural bias occurs when people of a culture, like your co-worker, make assumptions about conventions, including conventions of language, notation, proof and evidence. They can then mistake these assumptions for laws of logic or nature. Numerous such biases are believed to exist, concerning cultural norms for color, location of body parts, mate selection, concepts of justice, linguistic and logical validity, ...

    Solution Summary

    In reference to the scenario, this solution discuses the type of heuristics and biases that occurred in applicant selection by addressing the four questions. This solution is 793 words with two references.