Wanted: Person/Formula willing to decide the future

Posted on June 29, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |



In the past decade, the Council of Graduate Schools estimated over 7 million applications were submitted to various graduate schools last year. This has forced graduate admission panels to be more selective in their admissions process; in some cases 50 or 100:1.

In Robyn Dawes study, A Case Study of Graduate Admissions: Application of Three Principles of Human Decision Making, he analyzes which criterion are taken into account when deciding who will be admitted into a program. One of Dawes’ suggestions was to implement a formula which could consist the combination of a GPA, GRE score, letters of reccomendations, and essays into one rating scale. He points out that this formula would offer an unbiased and fair approach to admissions boards when deciding who to let in to their institution. On the contrary, Dawes goes on to find that “Surely the applicant deserves the personal attention of the committee.” (p.186).

Dawes states that using a numerical rating scale could be helpful in narrowing down an applicant pool; and it may be the best route to fairly judge incoming students, however he does stand by the human mind by stating that all finalist deserve the compassion and thought of a panel of judges.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kahunapulej/323333514/

Article Credit: Dawes, R. M. (1971), “A case study of graduate admissions: Application of three principles of human decision making,” American Psychologist, 26, 180-188.


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