Unformatted text preview: Definition of Ability Tests
Definition of Ability Tests
• Ability Tests Are standardized measures of knowledge (e.g.,
Are physical, mental, mechanical, and clerical abilities)
that results from formal learning experiences
that • Traditional Forms of Ability Tests Aptitude tests Measure knowledge acquired without formal training Achievement tests Measure current levels of previously acquired knowledge Mental Ability Tests
Mental Ability Tests
• Development of Mental Ability Tests Binet and Simon
Developed an intelligence test to measure the mental age
(academic achievement) of French school children
(academic Published as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale in the U.S.
Stanford-Binet Otis Self-Administering Test of Mental Ability The first group-administered mental ability test to have
widespread use in industry
widespread What Is Measured by Ability Tests
What Is Measured by Ability Tests
• Content and Academic Achievement Mental ability tests are validated by correlating test
Mental scores with educational achievement as criteria.
scores • Measured Abilities Mental ability tests measure several distinct abilities
Mental but all tests do not measure the same abilities
but • Scoring of Tests General tests provide an overall mental ability score Other tests either provide separate scores on each
Other abilities, then sum scores to report a total score or
they measure separate abilities and do not combine
the scores into a general ability measure.
the TABLE 12.1 Abilities Measured by Various Mental Ability Tests Memory Span Figural Classification Numerical Fluency Spatial Orientation Verbal Comprehension Visualization Conceptual Classification Intuitive Reasoning Semantic Relations Ordering General Reasoning Figural Identification Conceptual Foresight Logical Evaluation The Wonderlic Personnel Test
The Wonderlic Personnel Test
• Wonderlic Personnel Test Developed in 1938, in wide use thereafter Is a 50 multiple-choice item test taken in 12 minutes Content—vocabulary, “commonsense” reasoning,
—vocabulary, formal syllogisms, arithmetic reasoning and
computation, analogies, perceptual skill, spatial
relations, number series, scrambled sentences, and
knowledge of proverbs.
knowledge Primarily measures verbal comprehension, with
Primarily deduction and numerical fluency being the next two
factors in order of importance.
factors TABLE 12.2 Example Items Similar to Items on the Wonderlic Personnel Test NOTE: An (*) indicates the correct response. The Validity of Mental Ability Tests
The Validity of Mental Ability Tests
• Project A A multiple-year effort to develop a selection system
multiple-year appropriate for all entry-level positions in the U.S.
Army Involved the development of 65 predictor tests that
could be used as selection instruments
could Produced results indicating that general mental ability
tests are valid selection instruments across a large
variety of military jobs
variety TABLE 12.3 Project A Validity Coefficients SOURCE: Jeffrey J. McHenry, Laetta M. Hough, Jody L. Toquam, Mary A. Hanson, and Steven Ashworth, “Project A
Validity Results: The Relationship between Predictor and Criterion Domains,” Personnel Psychology 43 (1990): 335–354. Validity Generalization Studies
Validity Generalization Studies
• Variations in Validity? Validity coefficients for the same combination of
Validity mental ability tests and job performance measures
differ greatly for studies in different organizations.
differ These differences were thought to be caused by
These undetermined organizational factors that affected the
correlation between selection instruments and criteria.
correlation Selection specialists concluded that a validation study
Selection is necessary for each selection program developed.
is Meta-analysis of differences indicates otherwise. TABLE 12.4 Selected Validity Generalization Results for Various Jobs NOTE: Data for missing cells are not reported.
a Frank Schmidt, Ilene Gast-Rosenbery, and John Hunter, “Validity Generalization for Computer Programmers,” Journal of Applied Psychology 65 (1980): 643–661.
Frank Schmidt, John Hunter, Kenneth Pearlman, and Guy Shane, “Further Tests of the Schmidt-Hunter Bayesian Validity Generalization Procedure,” Personnel
Psychology 32 (1979): 257–281.
Kenneth Pearlman, Frank Schmidt, and John Hunter, “Validity Generalization Results for Tests Used to Predict Job Proficiency and Training Success in Clerical
Occupations,” Journal of Applied Psychology 65 (1980): 373–406.
b Validity Generalization Studies (cont’d)
Validity Generalization Studies (cont’d)
• Implications for Selection
1. It is no longer necessary to conduct validity studies
It within each organization.
within There are no organizational effects on validity; therefore the
same predictor (selection instrument) can be used across all
It is necessary only to demonstrate through job analysis that
the job is similar to the job in the validity generalization
study. 1. Task differences among jobs have little effect on the
Task validity coefficients of mental ability tests.
validity Differing information-processing and problem-solving
demands of the job, not task differences themselves.
demands Validity Generalization Studies (cont’d)
Validity Generalization Studies (cont’d)
• Implications for Selection (cont’d)
3. A general mental ability test score is as good a
general predictor of job performance as is a composite score
from a test of specific abilities using multiple scales.
4. Situational specificity required by the Uniform
Situational Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures are
not appropriate at this point in time.
not Mental Ability Tests and Discrimination
Mental Ability Tests and Discrimination
• Differential validity The hypothesis that employment tests are less valid
The for minority group members than nonminorities.
for The validities for the same selection test in the two groups
are statistically significant but unequal due to cultural bias in
the content of ability tests.
the The consistent research conclusion is that differential
The validity does not exist.
validity Mental Ability Tests and Adverse Impact
Mental Ability Tests and Adverse Impact
• Research Findings Meta-analysis of differences among demographic
Meta-analysis groups in scores on cognitive ability tests has shown
consistent and significant differences in mean test
scores among racial/ethnic groups.
• The use of ability tests requires careful attention by an
organization in the development of its selection
• The traditional viewpoint of validation studies within a
single organization is outdated.
• Cognitive ability tests are among the most valid of all
selection tests for a large number of jobs.
• While cognitive tests may exhibit adverse impact, their
use in selection can be defended against claims of
• The goals and values of an organization will influence its
choices and uses of selection instruments.
choices Mental Ability Tests and the Internet
Mental Ability Tests and the Internet
• Equivalence of Paper-and-Pencil and Electronic
Tests Test-taking behaviors differ in the two testing
environments. The use of technology does not appear increase
errors. The use of timed electronic tests can be
technologically The interface design of electronic tests is an
important Testing on the Internet
Testing on the Internet
• Issues in Internet Testing The suitability of a particular type of test (mental
ability vs. other kinds of tests) for use on the Internet
ability Whether the test is used for selection or development The importance of the test score to the test taker The effects of cheating on the test’s validity The cost and feasibility of measures to reduce
cheating TABLE 12.8 Considerations Regarding the Use of Internet Tests SOURCE: Adapted from Denise Potosky and Philip Bobko, “Selection Testing via the Internet: Practical
Considerations and Exploratory Empirical Findings,” Personnel Psychology 57 (2004): 1003–1034. Effects of Coaching and Practice
Effects of Coaching and Practice
• Coaching Effects Training appears to have minimal effect on test
scores. • Practice Effects Repetition improves test scores due to:
A better understanding of the test format and methods of
responding Reduction of test anxiety on subsequent tests Learning the specific skills tested However, practice-increased scores did not translate
However, into increased job training performance
into Mechanical Ability Tests
Mechanical Ability Tests
• Mechanical Ability Characteristics that tend to make for success in work
Characteristics with machines and equipment
with • Testing Methods Manual performance (assembly/manipulation) Written problems • Abilities Measured Spatial visualization Perceptual speed and accuracy Mechanical information Mechanical Ability Tests (cont’d)
Mechanical Ability Tests (cont’d)
• The Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test Is used for industrial jobs to measure the ability to
Is perceive and understand physical forces and
mechanical elements in practical situations.
mechanical Uses pictures of familiar objects and scenes to ask
Uses questions requiring logical analysis.
questions iis best used for assessing applicant for positions that
s require a grasp of the principles underlying the
operation and repair of complex devices.
operation Is intended to measure an individual’s aptitude for
Is learning mechanical skills.
learning TABLE 12.9 Example Items Similar to Items on the Minnesota Clerical Test Name Comparison
Chris Riordan ____________________________
Murray Barrick ____________________________ Frank Schmidt
Mick Mount Number Comparison
8876659954 Physical Ability Tests
Physical Ability Tests
• Reasons for Physical Ability Testing More female applicants for male-dominated jobs Reducing the incidence of work-related injuries To determine the physical status of job applicants • Legal Issues in Testing Physical Abilities Adverse impact for scores on physical ability tests
Tests must clearly be linked to critical job tasks that require
physical abilities in their completion
physical Question is whether the tasks can be modified to reduce or
eliminate these physical demands (i.e., reasonable
accommodation for disabled applicants).
accommodation Physical Ability Tests (cont’d)
Physical Ability Tests (cont’d)
• Physical Abilities Analysis Static strength Dynamic strength Explosive strength Trunk strength Extent flexibility Dynamic flexibility Gross body coordination Stamina TABLE 12.10 Three Components of Physical Performance SOURCE: Based on Joyce C. Hogan, “Physical Abilities,” in Handbook of Industrial & Organizational Psychology,
2d ed., Vol. 2, ed. Marvin Dunnette and Leatta Hough (Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1991). TABLE 12.10 Three Components of Physical Performance (cont’d) SOURCE: Based on Joyce C. Hogan, “Physical Abilities,” in Handbook of Industrial & Organizational Psychology,
2d ed., Vol. 2, ed. Marvin Dunnette and Leatta Hough (Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1991). Summary
• Ability tests are Useful as valid predictors of job performance. Cheap when purchased from a test publisher. Fast—most take 30 minutes or less to complete. Easy—administered individually or in group settings. Versatile—may come in several languages. Scorable—have a ready-made scoring key. Understandable—reflect knowledge that is job based. Sometimes poorly developed and sold to the unwary. ...
View Full Document
- Winter '12
- test score, ability tests, Frank Schmidt