Monday, April 23, 2007

2007 SIOP Conference Part 2: Highlights Vol. 1

In a previous post I talked about some of the products showcased in the program for the 2007 SIOP Conference.

In this post I'd like to highlight some of the more interesting (to me--and to you too, I hope!) presentations being made. Because there are so many interesting presentations, I'll use several posts to cover a number of them.

Gender and letters of recommendation: Agentic and communal differences (249-8)

Here's a study that should make you think twice about those letters of recommendation you review (if you don't already). After analyzing nearly 700 letters of recommendation for psychology faculty positions, the researcher found that women in these letters tended to be described as more affectionate, warm, and kind, while men were described as more ambitious, dominant, and self-confident. In addition, letters for women contained more references to their physical appearance (insert shudder here).

Data trends in open mode, online, unsupervised cognitive ability testing (61-28)
Personality testing online (unsupervised) and paper and pencil (supervised) (103-21)
Retest effects on an unproctored Internet-based GMA test (205-29)
DFIT analysis of web-based and paper-based versions of the WPT (261-21)

These four studies all looked at online testing in some way or another. The first three provide some support for online testing; they suggest that online general mental ability (GMA) test scores are relatively stable over time and the psychometric qualities of a personality test were consistent regardless of whether the test was taken online & unproctored or in person & proctored. Before we get too excited, however, the last study found that the paper-and-pencil and online versions of the WPT were not completely identical. It also found that WPT-Q scores differed between proctored and unproctored settings. So overall, mixed support for online testing. Chances are other factors (e.g., physical environment, Internet self-efficacy) play major roles.

Fancy job titles: Effects on recruitment success (261-25)

Chief Fun Officer. Brand Evangelist. Some organizations are coming up with creative job titles in an attempt to lure candidates who may find "Marketing Executive" a tad dull. But does it work? In this study, Dr. Klaus Templer presented nearly 400 marketing students with four hypothetical job ads using various titles, including fancy (e.g., Global Brand Insights Manager) as well as traditional (e.g., Marketing Officer). Results? Attitude toward the job was significantly higher with the fancier title, as was the extent to which the job was recommended to a friend. Why? Templer hypothesizes that fancier job titles lend the job more prestige, making it more attractive. Interesting follow-up question I have: Does the response vary between high-potentials and low-potentials? Also, we should keep in mind that surveys suggest job titles may have less of an impact on retention.

More conference goodness in upcoming posts!

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