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Recruitment & selection ch10

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Recruitment & selection ch10

  1. 1. PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING Chapter 10
  2. 2. Psychometrics Psychometric tests fall into two main types: Ability tests A wide range of ability tests exist, including:  Typing tests based on work samples which ask candidates to type a set amount of text in a certain period of time  Tests of manual dexterity which would require operators to slot pegs into holes in a certain sequence and pattern over a period of time  Tests of spatial ability to see whether candidates are capable of operating machinery. A driving test is probably the best known example of a widely used ability test
  3. 3. Ability tests Cognitive tests attempt to identify this ability. Generally speaking, ability tests are divided into three main categories: Achievement tests, which measure the knowledge and skill that the person has acquired. The tests mentioned above for bricklayers and typists would be seen as achievement tests. They are sometimes known as trade tests. Aptitude tests, which may be based either on an occupational aptitude, such as computer programming or sales ability, or related to ‘primary mental abilities’ such as verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, clerical speed and accuracy, mechanical reasoning, spatial ability, spelling and language usage. There are some tests which specifically measure one of the aptitudes, others which form a battery of measurements for a range of aptitudes and are known as ‘differential aptitude batteries’. Intelligence tests, which attempt to measure intelligence, albeit that there is some disagreement over the content of intelligence.
  4. 4. Personality tests One of the reasons for its popularity is the ‘read-across’ of personality factors into occupational suitability. There were, however, some questions that had a clinical ‘feel’ and made people apprehensive about its completion. The 16 factors used were: Cool – warm Concrete thinking – abstract thinking Affected by feelings – emotionally stable Submissive – dominant Sober – enthusiastic Expedient – conscientious Shy – bold Tough minded – tender minded Trusting – suspicious Practical – imaginative Forthright – shrewd
  5. 5. Personality tests Self assured – apprehensive Conservative – experimenting Group oriented – self sufficient Undisciplined/self conflict – following self image Relaxed - tense
  6. 6. Personality tests The ‘big five’ personality characteristics • Extraversion/introversion – gregarious, outgoing, assertive, talkative and active (extraversion); or reserved, inward-looking, diffident, quiet, restrained (introversion) • Emotional stability – resilient, independent, confident, relaxed; or apprehensive, dependent, under-confident, tense, • Agreeableness – courteous, cooperative, likeable, tolerant; or rude, uncooperative, hostile, intolerant. • Conscientiousness – hard-working, persevering, careful, reliable; or lazy, dilettante, careless, expedient. • Openness to experience – curious, imaginative, willingness to learn, broad-minded; or blinkered, unimaginative, complacent, narrow-minded.
  7. 7. Personality tests The five factors cover aspects of human nature reflecting.  Traits such as being gregarious, assertive, talkative and active, together with ambition, expressiveness and impetuousness (extroversion/introversion)  Aspects such as anxiety, anger, worry, insecurity, together with resilience and independent thought (emotional stability)  Social conformity, being courteous, flexible, cooperative, forgiving, soft hearted, tolerant, trusting or cynical (agreeableness – sometimes also labeled ‘likeability’)  Hard working, persevering, careful, organized and preferences for rules and procedures or spontaneity and creativity (conscientiousness)  Curious imaginative, broad minded traits as well as ‘intelligence’ – however defined (openness to experience).
  8. 8. Test quality and choice Validity Face validity is concerned with the question ‘Does the test appear to measure what it is supposed to measure?’. This depends o the nature of the test and the context in which it would be used. Face validity is concerned with people’s perceptions of what a test measures, therefore it is not a true kind of validity, and is usually played down by psychologists, but it is of great practical importance for selectors wishing to avoid giving offence to candidates and being ridiculed by line colleagues. Content validity relates to the question “Do the items in the test adequately cover every aspect of what the test is supposed to measure?’. If, for example, the ‘analytical reasoning was identified as a test subject and defined as a general mental ability involving both numerical and verbal components, any test designed to measure “analytical reasoning’ would need to include both numerical and verbal items; the absence of either one would reduce the content validity of test.
  9. 9. Validity Construct validity is theoretically the most interesting type because it relates to the issue of whether the idea behind the test is valid or not. For practical purposes it is concerned with the question “Does the test really measure what it is supposed to measure and not something else?’. If, for example, we established a test for a sixth dimension of personality, then we would need to demonstrate that this additional sixth dimension was real and that the test measured it, rather than measuring one of the big five and naming it in a different way. Equally, if the test is supposed to be measuring full personality then it will need to be seen to be measuring occupational tests are constructed on the basis of the big give and therefore the focus of attention is usually on the effectiveness of the test in measuring those dimensions, rather than on the theory behind the test. Criterion related validity has the most practical significance for selectors as it is concerned with the question “Do the scores on the test relate to anything important in the world of work?’. In occupational testing ‘anything important’ is usually some measure of job performance such as supervisor’ ratings, sales achieved, absence, turnover or achievement.
  10. 10. Reliability Test retest is concerned with the stability of test scores over time. It involves administering the test to the same individuals on two or more separate occasions, normally a few weeks between the scores obtained on the two occasions. Although in theory there is concern about rehearsing people by retaking tests, in practice the results of the two or more occasions will need to be consistent, because different results will ten to show that it is the test that is inconsistent rather than the people taking it. Internal consistency is concerned with the idea that all of the items within a test should be measuring the same thing and therefore should be correlated with each other. For example, if a test question asked ‘Do you prefer going to parties or learning a new skill?’. It would be an inconsistent question because the first part of the question will be linked to “extraversion” and the second part of the question will be linked to “openness to experience”.
  11. 11. Reliability Parallel forms reliability is the ability of a test to measure in the same way as another test designed to measure the same construct. It is particularly important if the publishers produces two versions of the same test, since they should then be highly correlated.
  12. 12. Personality tests. Personality tests do not look like tests as such, they are really questionnaires. They usually, but not always, take the form of:  The ‘statement’ type are usually open ended questions to which the candidate replies ‘true’ or ‘false’ or may have a range of responses from ‘very much like me’ to ‘not at all like me’, or similar descriptions. These tests are usually constructed in such a way that the question will be asked in many different ways on a number of occasions as a means of gauging a typical answer. In an omnibus test (full personality) this means the test may cover over a hundred questions.  The ‘choice’ type, sometimes called ipsative, is one in which the test taker is required to make a choice between two statements or adjectives. Sometimes it is a straight choice, sometimes there is scale of response. There is some concern about the use of such tests. To illustrate, if we provide a test taker with a choice ‘I often beat my spouse and family’ or ‘I often steal from shops or my employer’ we will be able to deduce from the answer that the test taker either has violent tendencies or dishonest tendencies. In practice the respondent could be either violent or dishonest or both or neither, deducing answers from forced choices is therefore fraught with difficulties.
  13. 13. Personality tests.  The ‘adjective’ test has become more popular in recent years, partly because of improvements in its development and partly because it generally offers a quicker and more cost effective route to testing. In this approach test takers are required to respond to an adjective as ‘like me’ or ‘not like me’ etc or respond to a choice of adjectives indicating which is most appropriate for them.

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