Saturday, November 20, 2010

New issues of Personnel Psych and IJSA: Muslim applicants, selection perceptions, and more

Two of the big journals have come out with new issues, so let's take a look at the highlights:

First, in the Winter 2010 issue of Personnel Psychology:

King and Ahmad describe the results of several experiments that found interviewers and raters altered their behavior for confederates exhibiting obvious Muslim-identified behavior (e.g., clothing) depending on whether applicants exhibited stereotype-inconsistent behavior. For those that didn't, reactions were shorter and more negative. On the other hand, no difference was found in offers between those dressed in Muslim-identified clothing and those that weren't. So behavior--specifically its stereotypicality--and not simply something obvious like dress, may be key in predicting/preventing discriminatory behavior.

Do you consistently read the "Limitations" section of journal articles? Brutus et al. did, for three major I/O journals from 1995 to 2008 and found that threats to internal validity were the most commonly reported limitation. Interestingly, they also found that the nature of limitations reported changed over time (e.g., more sampling issues due to volunteers, variance issues). You can see an in press version here.

Next up, Henderson reports impressive criterion-related validity (combined operational = .86) for a test battery consisting of a g-saturated exam and a strength/endurance exam after following a firefighter academy class for 23 years. He suggests that employers have considerable latitude in choosing exams as long as they are highly loaded on these two factors, and also suggests approximately equal weighting.

Struggling to communicate the utility of sound assessment? Last but not least, Winkler et al. describe the results of sharing utility information with a sample of managers and found that using a casual chain analysis--rather than simply a single attribute--increased understanding, perceived usefulness, and intent to use.

Let's switch now to the December 2010 issue of the International Journal of Selection and Assessment (IJSA). There's a lot of great content in this issue, so take a deep breath:

Interested in unproctored internet testing? You'll want to check out Guo and Drasgow's piece on verification testing. The authors recommend using a Z-test over the likelihood ratio test for detecting cheating, although both did very well.

Walsh et al. discuss the moderating effect that cultural practices (performance orientation, uncertainty avoidance) have on selection fairness perceptions.

Speaking of selection perceptions, Oostrom et al. found that individual differences play a role in determining how applicants respond--particularly openness to experience. The authors recommend considering the nature of your applicant pool before implementing programs to improve perceptions of the assessment process.

Those of you interested in cut scores (and hey, who isn't) should check out Hoffman et al.'s piece on using a difficulty-anchored rating scale and the impact it has on SME judgments.

Back to perceptions for a second, Furnham and Chamorro-Premuzic asked a sample of students to rate seventeen different assessment methods for their accuracy and fairness. Not surprisingly, panel interviews and references came out on top in terms of fairness, while those that looked the most like a traditional test (e.g., drug, job knowledge, intelligence) were judged least accurate and fair. Interestingly, self-assessed intelligence moderated the perceptions (hey, if I think I'm smart I might not mind intelligence tests!).

And now for something completely different (those of you that get that reference click here for a trip down memory lane). A study by Garcia-Izquierdo et al. of information contained in online job application forms from a sample of companies found on the Spanish Stock Exchange. A surprisingly high percentage of firms asked for information on their applications that at best would be off-putting, at worst could lead to lawsuits, such as age/DOB, nationality, and marital status. The authors suggest this area of e-recruitment is ripe for scientist-practitioner collaboration.

Last but not least, a piece that ties the major topics of this post together: selection perceptions and recruitment. Schreurs et al. gathered data from 340 entry-level applicants to a large financial services firm and found that applicant perceptions, particularly of warmth/respect, mediated the relationship between expectations and attraction/pursuit intentions. This reinforces other research that has underlined the importance of making sure organizational representatives put your best foot/face forward.

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