Identifying, Defining, and Measuring Justification Mechanisms: The Implicit Biases Underlying Individual Differences

Jeremy L. Schoen, Justin A. DeSimone, Rustin D. Meyer, Katherine A. Schnure, James M. LeBreton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Twenty years ago, conditional reasoning (CR) was presented as a technology for assessing the implicit aspects of personality. Although this assessment method has been lauded as an advance for organizational scholarship, relatively few CR tests have been developed and validated. We argue that a major impediment to the broader implementation of this technique has been the disproportional emphasis by researchers on measurement-related issues at the expense of better describing the core theoretical processes that underlie CR—namely, justification mechanisms (JMs). In an effort to rectify this problem we (a) explain the differences between implicit and explicit individual differences, (b) introduce the key psychological mechanism associated with these implicit individual differences as conceptualized through CR (JMs), (c) describe how researchers can identify JMs, and (d) discuss how JMs may be measured with CR items. Our work is intended to serve as a catalyst for future CR initiatives by refocusing the attention of researchers on the theoretical underpinnings of CR, thus enabling researchers to build more theoretically sound tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management

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