Jo Silvester

Jo Silvester
Loughborough University | Lough · School of Business and Economics

BSc Psychology, MSc Occupational Psychology, PhD Psychology

About

49
Publications
60,691
Reads
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1,542
Citations
Introduction
I am a work psychologist specialising in political leadership. I work with political parties, government and business to develop selection and development processes that identify, nurture and promote strong and diverse political talent. My research interests include political work, psychological predictors of candidate success, and developing strong and diverse democratic cultures in government.
Additional affiliations
April 2018 - present
Uinversity of Exeter
Position
  • Head of Faculty
October 2011 - August 2016
City, University of London
Position
  • Professor of Organisational Psychology | Deputy Dean
September 2011 - May 2015
City, University of London
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (49)
Chapter
Full-text available
Democracy was forged in the furnaces of oppression, whether combatting tyranny or affirming the rights of the individual. As democracy is under threat in many parts of the world, there has never been a more urgent need to understand political thoughts and behaviours. This lucid and accessible book brings together a global group of scholars from psy...
Article
Vignette methodology is used to examine how the personal characteristics of investors and financial advisors contribute to portfolio recommendations, and the judgements that advisors make about investment knowledge and control of prospective millionaire UK clients. We find that advisors use investor characteristics to make recommendations broadly i...
Article
We examine how gender differences in investment risk tolerance, knowledge, confidence and portfolio cash allocations relate to the gender mix of investors and financial advisors among a sample of wealthy individuals in the UK. Our results demonstrate that gender effects are more nuanced than previously assumed. First, while even wealthy women consi...
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Full-text available
Integrating Social/Political Influence Theory with the Theory of Planned Behavior, we argue that personal resources (i.e., political skill, self‐efficacy) enable political candidates to form more ambitious campaign intentions, and thus perform better in elections. We tested this model with a sample of political candidates (N = 225) campaigning in a...
Article
This inductive study extends scholarship on gender, feedback and leadership by drawing on a large naturalistic data set of 1057 narrative developmental feedback comments to 146 political leaders in the UK. We used automated topic modeling, a novel methodology, to identify 12 underlying topics within developmental feedback, and complemented this wit...
Chapter
This chapter reviews previous and current research on different psychological characteristics that can influence politicians’ success. Personality is defined as a self-regulatory system that mediates the relationship between a person and their environment, and accounts for features that distinguish individuals from one another in the domains of cog...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examines the extent to which religiosity account for ideological orientations in 16 countries from five continents (Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Greece, Finland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States). Results showed that religiosity was consistently related...
Article
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To date little attention has been paid to how social cognitive bias can influence how financial advisors interpret and respond to the needs of millionaire investors, and if this varies depending on the gender of the investor. This research investigates whether experienced professional financial advisors who work with millionaire investors make diff...
Article
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Are the traits preferred by voters also associated with success in political office? Drawing on the ascription-actuality trait theory of leadership the present study examines whether traits ascribed to politicians predict leadership outcomes differently to the actual traits they possess. We collected self-ratings of politicians' personality (N = 13...
Article
In this paper we discuss the factors that influence women’s likelihood to gain positions of power, and what impedes women’s effectiveness once in these roles. We have reviewed the research from an international perspective and have highlighted the common trends that impact women across the globe. Although progress has been made, there is still much...
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The current study examines the contribution of left–right (or liberal–conservative) ideology to voting, as well as the extent to which basic values account for ideological orientation. Analyses were conducted in 16 countries from five continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Oceania), most of which have been neglected by previous...
Chapter
Full-text available
Work and organizational psychology has a rich tradition in qualitative research, yet anyone new to the field could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Most academic journals and conference papers are dominated by empirical investigations that fit a positivist ‘scientific’ epistemology. In fact, organizational psychologists have been criticized for...
Article
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In 1882 Robert Louis Stevenson commented that 'Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is deemed necessary', and today it seems that his comments still hold. Despite a wealth of understanding in work psychology about how to train and support people in work roles, very few efforts have been made to apply this knowledge to po...
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Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) employees appear to experience more difficulty reaching senior leadership positions than their white counterparts. Using Eagly and Carli’s (2007) metaphor of the labyrinth our aim was to give voice to black and minority ethnic managers who have successfully achieved senior management roles, and compare their leadersh...
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Using data from 28 countries in four continents, the present research addresses the question of how basic values may account for political activism. Study 1 (N = 35,116) analyses data from representative samples in 20 countries that responded to the 21-item version of the Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ-21) in the European Social Survey. Study 2...
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This study conceptualizes politicians as political workers. It describes a multimethod study with two aims: (1) to determine whether politicians share a latent mental model of performance in political roles and (2) to test hypothesized relationships between politician self-rated characteristics (i.e., extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, M...
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Full-text available
Do the political values of the general public form a coherent system? What might be the source of coherence? We view political values as expressions, in the political domain, of more basic personal values. Basic personal values (e.g., security, achievement, benevolence, hedonism) are organized on a circular continuum that reflects their conflicting...
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Full-text available
According to George Bernard Shaw, ‘democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few’ (1903), yet selection and election decisions both play an important part in determining who will ultimately become a politician. Most politicians represent a political party, and successful democratic elections in the UK and...
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There has been surprisingly little consideration of how the selection of political candidates compares with employee selection, or whether individual differences predict electoral success. This study describes the design and validation of an assessment centre [AC] for selecting prospective Parliamentary candidates for a main UK political party. A j...
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Research investigating attributional style and job performance among sales staff has been limited by its focus on specific sales roles: notably selling insurance by telephone. Important questions therefore remain regarding the mechanism by which attributions influence job performance in sales roles more generally. This paper describes a field study...
Article
This article examines how the analysis of spoken attributions can be used to explore organizational sensemaking. A case study is presented to illustrate differences and similarities in the attributions produced by engineers taking part in a culture change programme within a multinational manufacturing organization. Semi-structured interviews with s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Organizations as Political ArenasPolitical SkillPolitical LeadershipIndividual Differences and Political RolesPolitics and Human Resource ManagementA Political View of Human Resource ManagementConclusions AcknowledgementsReferences
Article
The selection interview remains the most popular method by which organizations select employees, yet it is also widely criticized for being vulnerable to bias and unfair discrimination. This paper draws upon two specific areas of attribution research: cross-cultural studies of attributional processes and studies of intergroup attributional bias in...
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A sociocognitive model of distal and proximal predictors of empathic judgments was tested among 100 physicians. The authors hypothesized that physician perceived control would affect empathy ratings via physician communication style. Specifically, physicians with high perceived control would use more open communication and be rated as more empathic...
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2007). " Trust me…. " Cognitive and behavioural predictors of perceived physician empathy. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 519-527. " Trust me…. " Cognitive and behavioral predictors of perceived physician empathy. Abstract A socio-cognitive model of distal and proximal predictors of empathic judgments was tested among 100 physicians. It was hyp...
Article
There has been surprisingly little consideration of how the selection of political candidates compares with employee selection, or whether individual differences predict electoral success. This study describes the design and validation of an assessment centre [AC] for selecting prospective Parliamentary candidates for a main UK political party. A j...
Article
This article presents a study of naturally occurring attributions recorded by care staff following incidents of restraint in a psychiatric secure unit. The relationship between control for patient, control for staff and behavioural outcomes including use of medication, seclusion and duration of restraint were explored for male and female patients....
Article
Very little research has investigated the comparability of telephone and face-to-face employment interviews. This exploratory study investigated interviewers' questioning strategies and applicants' causal attributions produced during semi structured telephone and face-to-face graduate recruitment interviews (N=62). A total of 2044 causal attributio...
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Surprisingly little is known about the ways in which candidates create positive impressions during employment interviews. Three studies are presented which investigate how candidate and interviewer locus of control influence preferences for three categories of explanations proffered by candidates during graduate recruitment interviews. In Study 1,...
Article
Although there has been an increase in the use of telephone interviews for graduate recruitment by companies in the UK, there is little evidence attesting to their equivalence with traditional face-to-face selection interviews. A total of 70 candidates applying to a multinational oil corporation received both face-to-face and telephone interviews a...
Article
Job relocation refers to the process of simultaneously moving to a new job and house and this can cause considerable stress for the relocator and his/her family. Based upon an attributional analysis, we predicted that negative psychological reactions would be a function of (1) number of relocation problems, and (2) making pessimistic attributions f...
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Full-text available
A study into the relationships between candidateself-monitoring ability, interviewer perceptions ofcandidate personality, and interviewer outcome decisionsin the context of actual graduate recruitment interviews (n = 130) is presented. Detailedpsychometric norm data is also reported on the Lennoxand Wolfe (1984) revised Self-Monitoring (RS-M) scale...
Article
Attempts by researchers to quantify organizational culture and culture change have been severely hindered by a lack of theoretical models to aid empirical investigation. This paper has two aims. First, a socio-cognitive model of organizational culture is discussed which defines ‘culture’ as the product of a dynamic and collective process of ‘sense-...
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A selective review is offered of current issues and new developments in the measurement of parental attributions for social behavior. Attributions have alternatively been conceptualized as involving (a) memory-dependent knowledge structures (i.e., interpretive styles that are dependent on the parent's history) or (b) stimulus-dependent appraisal pr...
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Two predictions about candidates' spoken attributions during 35 graduate recruitment interviews were tested. First, that spoken attributions are a common and frequent component of candidate discourse in the selection interview. Second, that those candidates rated by interviewers as more successful make systematically different attributions for prev...
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Despite claims that beliefs held by abusive parents are important indicators of family functioning, few studies have explored the relationship between patterns of beliefs and severity of abuse. This study applies findings from marital research that demonstrate that maladaptive attributional patterns predict the level of distress experienced in adul...
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In a series of three experiments children aged from 4 to 10 years old were presented with a serial recall task with pictures of common objects which had short or long names. Children of all ages showed consistently better recall of pictures with short names. This effect occurred without the pictures being named at presentation and was abolished by...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
I'm working with Helena Cooper-Thomas on a project looking at socialisation practices and experiences of new MPs entering parliament, and how these contribute to political learning.