Ch12-_Definition_of_Ability_Tests

Ch12-_Definition_of_Ability_Tests - Definition of Ability...

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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) hysical, 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 Developed (academic achievement) of French school children (academic Published as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale in the U.S. Published Stanford-Binet Otis Self-Administering Test of Mental Ability The first group-administered mental ability test to have The 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 Army Involved the development of 65 predictor tests that Involved could be used as selection instruments could Produced results indicating that general mental ability Produced 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. c 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 There same predictor (selection instrument) can be used across all organizations. organizations. It is necessary only to demonstrate through job analysis that It the job is similar to the job in the validity generalization study. 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 Differing 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. from 4. Situational specificity required by the Uniform Situational Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures are Guidelines 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 The 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. scores Conclusions Conclusions • The use of ability tests requires careful attention by an The organization in the development of its selection programs. programs. • The traditional viewpoint of validation studies within a The single organization is outdated. single • Cognitive ability tests are among the most valid of all Cognitive selection tests for a large number of jobs. selection • While cognitive tests may exhibit adverse impact, their While use in selection can be defended against claims of discrimination. discrimination. • The goals and values of an organization will influence its The 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 Equivalence Tests Tests Test-taking behaviors differ in the two testing Test-taking environments. environments. The use of technology does not appear increase The errors. errors. The use of timed electronic tests can be The technologically problematic. technologically The interface design of electronic tests is an The important concern. important Testing on the Internet Testing on the Internet • Issues in Internet Testing The suitability of a particular type of test (mental The 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 The cheating 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 Training scores. scores. • Practice Effects Repetition improves test scores due to: A better understanding of the test format and methods of better responding 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 Neal Schmitt ____________________________ Hubert Feild ____________________________ Chris Riordan ____________________________ Tim Judge ____________________________ Murray Barrick ____________________________ Frank Schmidt Herbert Field Kris Reardan Jim Fudge Mick Mount Number Comparison 84644 ____________________________ 179854 ____________________________ 123457 ____________________________ 987342 ____________________________ 8877665994 ____________________________ 84464 176845 12457 987342 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 Tests physical abilities in their completion physical Question is whether the tasks can be modified to reduce or Question 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 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. ...
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