Saturday, December 01, 2012

Research update

Cold/wet yet?  Well sit back, have some hot tea, and let's catch up on our research...

Let's start with the biggie: the December issue of IJSA.

Juggling selection quality and adverse impact continues to be tricky.  The authors in this article suggest an optimum combination.

- Reflecting results from the turnover literature, this study found a relationship between perceptions of promotion practices and organizational justice and job satisfaction.

- Speaking of justice, the authors of this study found that the relationship between perceptions of distributive justice and intentions to recommend an employer were moderated by applicant affect.

- Job seekers would to well to keep up their psychological well being and self-esteem (easier said than done, right?).

- Back to fairness.  It's reasonable to think that ethnic minority applicants may not perceive video resumes well (due to the increased salience of their minority status).  But at least in this study, that assumption was not supported--although it depended on ethnic identity and language proficiency.

-  Honestly, I'm not one for the pure concept of "multi-tasking": in my experience people perform in serial, not parallel.  But that doesn't stop people from researching the predictive validity of multi-tasking assessments.

- Faking of personality inventories has been one of the hottest topics in assessment for years, but is often framed as dichotomies.  This study looks to bring some needed complexity to the issue using qualitative data.

- We all know it can be challenging to get hiring manager to give up their unstructured interviews of questionable validity.  Interestingly, according to this study, the more a hiring manager has used unstructured interviews, the less open they are to change.  I don't know if this is a causality issue, a mediating variable issue, or more evidence of the inability to accurately judge one's abilities. 

- Need more evidence for discrimination that occurs during resume screening?  Here ya go.

- Understanding why certain individuals perform better during interviews is a needed area for study.  In this article, the authors demonstrate the importance of simply being ability to generate ideas, rather than analyzing the situational requirements.

- This study investigates another area needing more attention: the selection into medical training and education programs.  The authors found strong predictive support for SJTs but they came with lower face validity.

- Last in this issue is another interesting study, this time of 360-ratings of innovation.  Interestingly and unlike a lot of other research on self-perception, self-ratings were lower than overall observer ratings.  However, the situation got more complex when the authors separated and analyzed by level of self-rating.

Next the November issue of Journal of Applied Social Psychology:

- One of the most pervasive (yet bizarrely under-discussed) areas of discrimination in the workplace is age discrimination.  This study illustrates some of the stereotypes held of younger and older workers--by both groups.  (Spoiler alert: you'll find out how accurate some of these are in just a second)

- I've been waiting for this one, partly because I love hearing about how bizarre and non-face valid some puzzle-based interviews are.  This particular study was looking at perceptions of these interviews compared to a behavioral interview.  Results?  The puzzle-based interviews were consistently less popular.  Oh, did I mention that they didn't work as well?

How about the Winter issue of Personnel Psych?

-  Why do certain applicants withdraw from the recruitment process?  This study suggests a relationship with organizational identification.

- Okay, back to stereotypes about older workers.  Whereas the earlier study looked at what the stereotypes are, this one looks at whether they're true.  The answer: no, but for one: older workers are less willing to participate in training and career development.

- Turns out it's not just the unemployed that are frustrated by the job search process--currently employed individuals feel the same in many ways.  Boy it's too bad we don't have a giant shared database that is able to match job demands with worker abilities...wait...

The November issue of Journal of Applied Psychology has a couple gems:

- Evidence for the predictive validity of the external manifestations of personality as well as the associated implicit motives.

-  A reminder that what makes for effective leadership behavior depends on the culture.

The latest issue of Personnel Review has an interesting research article on utility analysis, where the authors reiterate how challenging it can be to communicate UA information (hint: carrot and stick approach may work best).

There are a couple good ones in the November issue of Psychological Science.

- Multiple-choice tests have been beat up in the past for being nothing more than tests of recognition (rather than productive retrieval).  This study presents evidence that refutes that assumption.  Go multiple-choice!

- Conspiracy theorists take note: governments may be less likely to use the assumed relationship between genetic testing and intelligence to pigeon-hole us into tracks.  Why?  Because, at least according to this study, there appears to be little evidence connecting the two.

Okay, this one is pretty cool--in a slightly scary way.  The authors were looking at the impact that virtual avatar attractiveness has on interview ratings.  Turns out our bias toward attractive people is so strong it extends to the virtual world!  Of course maybe I should have seen that coming...I mean, ever read a comic book?  (hat tip)

Still with me? Last but not least, some disturbing new evidence regarding significance testing and potential publication bias (hat tip).  I'm guessing most of you won't be surprised at the finding.

I don't know if I'll have another update before the end of the year, so if I don't, happy holidays to everyone!