Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 157–178

A New Perspective on Preferential Treatment: The Role of Ambiguity and Self-Efficacy

  • Stéphane Brutus
  • Ann Marie Ryan

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022950705299

Cite this article as:
Brutus, S. & Ryan, A.M. Journal of Business and Psychology (1998) 13: 157. doi:10.1023/A:1022950705299


Knowledge of being selected preferentially has been shown to have negative effects. This study examined how changing the operationalization of preferential treatment to allow for perceptions of ambiguity in the nature of the selection decision may lead to changes in research conclusions. Eighty-four female undergraduates were led to believe they were selected to perform a mathematical task based on their merit, direct preferential treatment, or a more ambiguous or indirect preferential treatment. Results indicated that participants' self-efficacy levels affected their interpretations of the manipulation and performance. Implications for the study of preferential treatment are discussed.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stéphane Brutus
    • 1
  • Ann Marie Ryan
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Commerce and AdministrationConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityUSA

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