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Ability Tests Sensory (e.g., hearing, vision) Motor/Physical (e.g., dexterity, strength, agility) Cognitive (e.g., intelligence, aptitude)

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Presentation on theme: "Ability Tests Sensory (e.g., hearing, vision) Motor/Physical (e.g., dexterity, strength, agility) Cognitive (e.g., intelligence, aptitude)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ability Tests Sensory (e.g., hearing, vision) Motor/Physical (e.g., dexterity, strength, agility) Cognitive (e.g., intelligence, aptitude)

2 Cognitive Ability (e.g., ability to learn, or potential to learn, and acquire new knowledge and skill) Spearman, C. (1904) ‘General intelligence,’ objectively determined and measured. American Journal of Psychology, 15, 201-293. Also, differentiated general intelligence from specific (s) abilities (e.g., Spatial, Perceptual, Mechanical. Verbal, Numerical) At present, over 20,000 articles and research reports on the relationship between cognitive abilities and work criteria

3 About 50% of the variance in cognitive ability is due to g Roughly 8-10% due to verbal, quantitative, and spatial abilities Differences in specific abilities (verbal and numerical abilities, spatial, perceptual, mechanical are due to differences in “investment” (or focus, interest) in each area. Role of education, opportunity, influences, etc. Cognitive Ability (cont.)

4 ~ Measurement (Reliability) ~ Cognitive Ability Tests are among the most reliable assessments used in organizational settings Reliability estimates: Overall, about. 88 -.90 Test-retest (average interval 24 weeks):.83 (.65 -.95 range) Correlation between different tests (varying item type, content, format):.77 _________________________________________ Most reliable – Verbal and Numerical Abilities Less reliable – Spatial, Perceptual, Mechanical

5 ~ Measurement (Validity) ~ Cognitive Ability (cont.) Cognitive Ability Tests are among the best predictors of job performance across jobs and settings  Individuals with high CA possess high levels of: Declarative Knowledge (facts, procedures, rules) Procedural Knowledge (what to do) Cognitive Ability Tests Task Performance (mainly supervisor ratings) Contextual Performance (e.g., OCBs) Avoidance of CWBs Cognitive Ability Job Knowledge Job Performance (Moderator)

6 The Validity of Mental Ability Tests Project A Project A  A multiple-year effort to develop a selection system appropriate for all entry-level positions in the U.S. Army  Involved the development of 65 predictor tests that could be used as selection instruments  Produced results indicating that general mental ability tests are valid selection instruments across a large variety of military jobs

7 Project A Validity Coefficients

8 Validity Across Jobs

9 Cognitive Ability Tests (Managerial Performance) Significant correlations of “g” with managerial performance Uncorrected =.25 to.35 Corrected =.43 to.53 (Ghiselli, 1972; Hunter & Hunter, 1984) Verbal Comprehension ----.18 Numerical Ability ----------.42 Visual Speed/Accuracy ---.41 Space Visualization -------.31 Numerical Reasoning ----.41 Verbal Reasoning ---------.48 Word Fluency -------------.37 Symbolic Reasoning ------.31 R =.52 (Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Ability alone) Verbal Reasoning: Top managers - 98 percentile Middle managers - 95th percentile Numerical Ability: Top managers -85th percentile Middle managers -59th percentile From: Grimsley & Jarrett (1973, 1975)

10 Cognitive Ability Validity Versus Other Tests

11 TestCorr. with Performance Corr. with CAIncremental Validity Job Knowledge.40 -.50.63 -.800 -.04 Work Sample.31 -.43.30 -.50.02 -.05 Assessment Center (Problem Solving).31 -.39.28 -.32.02 -.05 Situational Judgment Tests.19 -.26~.320 -.01 Assessment Center (Overall) ~.44 (Mechanical combination) ~.31 (Holistic).43.13 Interview.40 (high structure).12 -.16.09 -.12 Biodata.34.37.02 Source : Ones, Dilchert & Viswesvaran (2012) Other Selection Devices

12 Non-Cognitive Scales and Incremental Validity Incremental validity Trait EI assesses such things as self-esteem, stress management, adaptability, & emotional stability So-called “compound” personality measures (included here) are NOT highly related to CA and provide decent incremental validity

13 Cognitive Ability Predictive Power Across Time Consistent tasks (behavior becomes automatic, effortless, routine) Predictive value of CA drops over time Inconsistent tasks (job duties differ; tasks are “resource” dependent) Predictive value remains stable over time

14 The Wonderlic Personnel Test 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, formal syllogisms, arithmetic reasoning and computation, analogies, perceptual skill, spatial relations, number series, scrambled sentences, and knowledge of proverbs.  Primarily measures verbal comprehension, with deduction and numerical fluency being the next two factors in order of importance. As of 2011, the tests have been administered to over 200 million people

15 Surveys have reported the use of CA tests to range from 11% to 27%

16 Can Cognitive Ability Tests Generalize Across Jobs or Does Individual Validity Studies Need to be Conducted? Validity Generalization or Situational Specificity Situational Specificity Validity coefficients for the same combination of mental ability tests and job performance measures differ greatly for studies in different organizations These differences were thought to be caused by undetermined organizational factors that affected the correlation between selection instruments and criteria Selection specialists concluded that a validation study is necessary for each selection program developed. Validity Generalization Meta-analyses indicate the robust nature of general cognitive ability tests

17 Evidence for Validity Generalization

18 Implications for Selection Implications for Selection  Conducting validity studies within each organization is not needed  No organizational effects on validity; the same predictor (selection instrument) can be used across all organizations  It is necessary only to demonstrate through job analysis that jobs are similar to the job in the validity generalization study  Task differences among jobs have little effect on the validity coefficients of mental ability tests.  Differing information-processing and problem-solving demands of the job, not task differences themselves Validity Generalization (cont.)

19 Cognitive Ability Tests (cont.) » Strengths High r eliability Criterion-related validity for wide range of jobs (especially high level positions and high complexity jobs such as managerial positions) Group administration Ease of Scoring Relatively low cost (e.g., versus personality test)  Weaknesses Likelihood for adverse impact (minorities score lower than non-minorities) Females score lower on tests of specific abilities (e.g., mechanical ability) Fails to consider acquired on-the-job knowledge Fails to incorporate other “types” of intelligence (e.g., emotional, practical)  Overall, best to use in combination with other tests/inventories

20 Assessing Emotion Scale (AES) 33 Items arranged on a 5-point scale (“1” strongly disagree to “5” strongly agree) I find it hard to understand the non verbal messages of other people I am aware of the non verbal messages I send to others By looking at their facial expressions, I recognize the emotions people are experiencing I know why my emotions change I know what other people are feeling just by looking at them When another person tells me about an important event in history her life, I almost feel as though I experienced this event myself When I feel a change in emotions, I tend to come up with new ideas I help other people feel better when they are down It is difficult for me to understand why people feel the way they do I can tell how people are feeling by listening to the tone of their voice.



23 Group Differences in Cognitive Ability Scores

24 Verbal Reasoning..… is to water as eat is to ….. A. continue ----- drive B. foot ----- enemy C. drink ----- food D. girl ----- industry E. drink ----- enemy..... is to night as breakfast is to ….. A. supper ----- corner B. gentle ----- morning C. door ----- corner D. flow ----- enjoy E. supper ----- morning ….. is to one as second is to ….. A. two ----- middle B. first ----- fire C. queen ----- hill D. first ----- two E. rain ----- fire Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

25 Numerical Ability Add A. 8 30 B. 15 20 C. 16 D. 26 N. none of these Add A. 14 13 B. 16 12 C. 25 D. 59 N. none of these Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

26 Abstract Reasoning PROBLEM FIGURES ANSWER FIGURES A B C D E Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

27 Abstract Reasoning (cont.) PROBLEM FIGURES ANSWER FIGURES A B C D E Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

28 Mechanical Reasoning Which weighs more? (If equal, mark C.) AB Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

29 Mechanical Reasoning (cont.)

30 Space Relations A B C D Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)

31 Name Comparison Neal Schmitt____________________________Frank Schmidt Hubert Feild____________________________Herbert Field Chris Riordan____________________________Kris Reardan Tim Judge____________________________Jim Fudge Murray Barrick____________________________Mick Mount Number Comparison 84644____________________________84464 179854____________________________176845 123457____________________________12457 987342____________________________987342 8877665994____________________________8876659954 Example Items Similar to Items on the Minnesota Clerical Test

32 Types of Physical Ability Tests Basic Ability Tests : Measures a single ability that consists of medical-related information (e.g., aerobic capacity, heart rate) ADA issue: Considered as a medical test. Must be given post offer. Can be used for multiple jobs Safe to administer Relatively inexpensive Physical Ability Tests (e.g., lifting, running, jumping) and Job Simulation Tests (t hose related to essential job tasks such as lifting/carrying objects, stair climbing, carrying a fire hose, climbing a fence) Content valid Safety concerns; need for a larger testing area and additional equipment Scoring issues; sequencing of tests issue

33 Determining Physical Requirements of Jobs Job Analysis Gather ergonomic, physiological, and biomechanical data (if needed) Assess the role of work conditions on task performance (e.g., temperature, cramped spaces, PPE)

34 Physical Ability Tests Reasons for Physical Ability TestingReasons for Physical Ability Testing  More female applicants for male-dominated jobs  Reducing the incidence of work-related injuries, lost work days  To determine the physical status of job applicants Legal Issues in Testing Physical AbilitiesLegal Issues in Testing Physical Abilities  Adverse impact for scores on physical ability tests  Tests must clearly be linked to critical job tasks that require physical abilities in their completion (Test must mirror the job demands; Key role of on-site observation)  Question is whether the tasks can be modified to reduce or eliminate these physical demands (i.e., reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants).

35 Texas city hit with police sex discrimination suit CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press Updated 7:13 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, 2012 McALLEN, Texas (AP) — The Justice Department sued the city of Corpus Christi on Tuesday, alleging the Police Department discriminated in hiring women by using a physical ability test few female applicants have been able to pass. Federal prosecutors say only about one in five women who took the test between 2005 and 2009 passed it, compared with about two-thirds of the men. The last two years the pass rates for men and women increased due to a change in the cutoff scores, but the gap between men and women persisted. The complaint filed in federal court in Corpus Christi says the department hired 12 female entry-level officers and 113 males from 2005 to 2011.


37 The consent decree requires that Corpus Christi no longer use the physical abilities test challenged by the United States for selecting entry-level police officers. It also requires the city to develop a new selection procedure that complies with Title VII. Additionally, the consent decree requires the city to pay $700,000 as back pay to female applicants who took and failed the challenged physical abilities test between 2005 and 2011 and are determined to be eligible for relief. Also under the consent decree, some women who took and failed the challenged physical abilities test between 2005 and 2011 may receive offers of priority employment with retroactive seniority and benefits. Applicants interested in priority employment must pass the new, lawful selection procedure developed by Corpus Christi under the decree and meet other qualifications required of all applicants considered for entry- level police officer positions. Consent Decree (Settlement)

38 Fleishman’s 9 Categories of Physical Abilities Static strength Dynamic strength Explosive strength Trunk strength Extent flexibility Dynamic flexibility Gross body coordination Gross body equilibrium Stamina Physical Abilities Muscular strength Hogan’s 3 Categories of Physical Performance Movement quality Cardiovascular endurance

39 Physical Ability Categories (7) Source: Baker & Gebhardt (2012). The assessment of physical capabilities in the workplace.

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