Thursday, March 08, 2007

New Issue of JOOP

I'd like to officially nominate the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology as the journal with the best acronym (JOOP). Sure, there's Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP), Human Performance (HP), Personnel Psychology (PP), but...c'mon....JOOP! Just say it.

Anyway, I mentioned a couple days ago that the March journals are starting to pour in, and it just so happens that the new JOOP is out.

So what's in it?

I gotta tell ya, there's some really interesting stuff in this issue. I know, I know, I always say that. I'll talk about the two that relate to assessment here and the rest on HR Coal.

The first is a study by Silvester & Dykes that tries to answer a question I've had for a long time: What predicts success as a politician? The authors were looking at whether individual differences predicted electoral success. What did they find? After studying 106 candidates in the UK they found strong support for critical thinking ability (CTA) and performance on a structured interview predicting "percentage swing" (r=.45 and r=.31, respectively) and CTA also predicted "percentage votes" (r=.26). Of course this doesn't speak to their actual job performance...

The second is a study by Vasilopoulos, Cucina, and Hunter of personality and training performance among a sample of U.S. law enforcement personnel. I'll bet money that there are graphs included in this article that would make explaining their results a lot easier, but basically what they found was that training performance was best predicted by facet personality scales--essentially smaller parts of Big 5 traits of conscientiousness and emotional stability, such as dependability and stress resistance. In addition, they found it's important to consider non-linear relationships between personality and performance. In other words, don't assume there's a straight line relationship between the two--it might be U-shaped, inverted U, etc.

You could say this about a lot of different predictors, actually. Might there be an optimum amount of cognitive ability for a job (not simply the highest you can attract)? An optimum level of interviewing skill? An optimal amount of training or experience?

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