Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

Richard N. Landers

Committee Member

Debra A. Major

Committee Member

Ryan L. Klinger


Branched situational judgment tests (BSJTs) are a recent innovation in personnel selection. Yet, there is little research supporting their use. Data from a qualitative pilot study indicated that BSJTs are expected to result in more positive applicant reactions. Using a grounded theory approach, Study 1 developed a theoretical model of the impact of branching on applicant reactions. Several perceived procedure characteristics were theorized to mediate the relationship between both the general use of branching as well as different branching features and applicant perceptions. Study 2 empirically tested the model developed in Study 1. Results indicated that consistency of administration mediated the relationship between general branching and motivation and the relationship between general branching and procedural justice. Although branching in general resulted in increased motivation, it resulted in decreased perceptions of fairness. Consistency of administration also mediated the relationship between the use of parallel branching, a specific branching feature, and procedural justice, as well as between parallel branching and test attitude. BSJTs that utilized parallel branches resulted in more positive perceptions of fairness and test attitude. Looping had a positive impact on perceptions of fairness, though this relationship was not mediated by opportunity to perform. Limitations and practical implications are discussed.


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Psychology Commons