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Performance Prediction: Truths and Falsehoods

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Presentation on theme: "Performance Prediction: Truths and Falsehoods"— Presentation transcript:

1 Performance Prediction: Truths and Falsehoods
Dr. Jordan B Peterson Professor of Psychology University of Toronto

2 What do psychologists do?
Pursue scientific truth Pursue careers

3 How to pursue scientific truth
MEASUREMENT If the phenomenon cannot be measured It does not exist

4 How to pursue scientific truth, continued
CONSTRUCT VALIDATION Multimethod, multitrait Analogous to sensory analysis Five senses, not one Plus intrasubjective measurement Plus technological extension of sensory analysis

5 Use statistics destructively
Aim at demolishing your effect

6 How to pursue a career Invent a scale (or a construct)
Or rename a scale that already exists Refuse to validate it No convergence No divergence No criterion No multimethod, multitrait analysis Correlate it with some phenomenon

7 How to pursue a career, continued
Publish the paper Establish a small primate dominance hierarchy Based on the scale Climb the hierarchy Use statistics selectively Very selectively Enjoy the fruits of your success! But seriously distort the knowledge base And spend your time chasing red herrings

8 NATURE | NEWS FEATURE Replication studies: Bad copy Ed Yong
In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication. Ed Yong 16 May 2012

9 Things that might not exist
Self-esteem (neuroticism – extraversion) 25000 published papers Whole political and educational agendas Working memory and EF IQ? Emotional intelligence Agreeableness

10 Things that might not exist
Grit MacArthur Genius Grant (Angela Duckworth) Martin Seligman (positive psychology) Conscientiousness Optimism/Pessimism Extraversion/neuroticism Promotion/prevention Extraversion/conscientiousness

11 Things that might not exist
Empathy Measures do not correlate well, but distill to agreeableness Psychopathy Agreeableness, negative, minus conscientiousness Predatory parasite

12 Things that might not exist
Positive illusions Extraversion, by Taylor’s own analysis Practical intelligence Sternberg is a crook Multiple intelligences Gardner is a crook

13 Things that might not exist
Any questionnaire measure independent of the Big Five Any measure of cognitive function independent of IQ Any behavioral measure of a trait, independent of IQ and the Big Five

14 Things that might exist

15 Individual Differences
Contextual and individual factors Contextual Cultural factors Peer networks Social support Individual Personality Cognitive ability

16 Personality

17 Traits Measurement Items Employment Variables Economic Value

18 Traits

19 STABILITY Conscientiousness Emotional Stability Agreeableness
Industriousness Orderliness Conscientiousness Volatility (r) Withdrawal (r) STABILITY Emotional Stability Politeness Compassion Agreeableness

20 PLASTICITY Openness Extraversion Creativity Intellect Assertiveness
Enthusiasm Extraversion

21 Personality Extraversion Neuroticism Agreeableness Conscientiousness
Happiness, optimism, enthusiasm, gregariousness, assertiveness Neuroticism .2-.3 with major life outcomes Particularly anxiety and depression, since that’s what it measures Agreeableness Compliance, empathy, maternality, kinship criminality Conscientiousness .4 with major life outcomes Openness Creativity, intelligence Disagreeable/neurotic Personality disorders Gender differences 75% classification accuracy

22 Emotion & Motivation Extraversion Neuroticism Agreeableness
Incentive reward (hope, curiosity, play, enthusiasm)/dopamine Harvest attention/approach and exploit social situations Neuroticism Pain, frustration, disappointment, fear, anxiety/GABA, Serotonin Avoid threat, uncertainty and punishment Agreeableness Empathy, sympathy, compliance, CARE (Oxytocin) Form intimate relationships and share Vs Pursue individual agenda/defend territory People vs things Conscientiousness Orderliness: DISGUST Industriousness: GUILT, SHAME Maintain order Stay uncontaminated and sparkly clean Implement goals Openness Manipulate abstractions prior to implementation General Cognitive Ability Awe, curiosity Non-social incentive reward/dopamine

23 Models are grounded in motivation
Capitalize on social groups Maintain order


25 Measurement

26 Items

27 Measurement Trait Measures General cognitive ability Creativity
Big Five Aspect Scale Unfakeable Big Five General cognitive ability Fluid Crystallized Dorsolateral prefrontal Creativity Creative Achievement Questionnaire Divergent thinking and fluency

28 (BFAS) Conscientiousness
Industriousness Waste my time (r) Always know what I am doing Orderliness Am not bothered by disorder (r) Follow a schedule

29 (BFAS) Emotional Stability
Volatility Get angry easily Keep my emotions under control Withdrawal Seldom feel blue Am filled with doubts about things

30 (BFAS) Agreeableness Politeness Compassion Respect authority
Believe that I am better than others (r) Compassion Am not interested in other people’s problems (r) Take no time for others (r)

31 (BFAS) Openness Creativity
Believe in the importance of art Love to reflect on things Intellect (but see general cognitive ability) Am quick to understand things Can handle a lot of information

32 (BFAS) Extraversion Assertiveness Enthusiasm Take charge
Lack the talent for influencing people (r) Enthusiasm Make friends easily Am hard to get to know (r)

33 Unfakeable Big Five (+)

34 Unfakeable Big Five (-)

35 Cognitive Ability The complexity of the world
Motivated ends must be met Modeling of possibility prior to implementation Models generate solutions to three problems: Where are you? Where are you going? How are you going to get there? Allows testing and failure Popper: “Our hypotheses die in our stead”

36 Conceptions of cognitive ability
INTELLIGENCES Practical vs analytical Social, emotional, moral Multiple: linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, body-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal INTELLIGENCE Highest strata has the most explanatory power “g” measures “success” across broad domains r ~ .50


38 Effect Size Relative magnitude Binomial Predictor r = .30
r= %ile r= %ile r= %ile r< %ile Hemphill, J.F. (2003). Interpreting the magnitudes of correlation coefficients. American Psychologist, 58, 78-8. Binomial Predictor r = .30 From 50/50 To 65/30 Predictor r = .50 To 75/25

39 General Cognitive Ability

40 Creative Achievement Questionnaire
Creativity Creative Achievement Questionnaire Visual Arts (painting, sculpture) 0. I have no training or talent in this area. 1. I have taken lessons in this area. 2. People comment on my talent in this area. 3. I won one or more prizes at juried art shows. 4. I showed my work in a gallery. 5. I sold a piece of my work. 6. My work was critiqued in local publications. 7. My work was critiqued in national publications. Inventions 0. I do not have recognized talent in this area. 1. I find novel uses for household objects. 2. I sketched out an invention and worked on its design flaws. 3. I created original software for a computer. 4. I built a prototype of one of my designed inventions. 5. I sold an inventions to people I know. 6. I received a patent for one of my inventions. 7. I sold an invention to a manufacturing firm.

41 Employment Variables

42 Complexity Innovation Hi/Hi Entrepreneurial Lo/Hi Managerial/Administrative Lo/Lo Rote Tasks Hi/Lo

43 Who suits which position?
Cognitive ability High levels of fluid and executive intelligence Decision making and planning Research High levels of retrieval Creativity and ideational production Leadership and public speaking High levels of crystallized intelligence Information dispensing and storage Writing and lecturing

44 Who suits which position?
Specific Performance Openness (r = ) Associated with high levels of creativity/entrepreneurial ability Extraversion (r = .20) Managers Sales People Leadership Agreeableness Lower levels associated with creativity/managerial excellence Higher levels for public relations, customer service (?)

45 Openness Complexity and Intelligence Innovation and Creativity

46 Conscientiousness Duty and Industriousness Disgust and Orderliness

47 Employment Variables II
Emotional Stability High vs Low Stress Agreeableness People vs Things Extraversion Solitary vs Gregarious

48 Economic Value

49 Complexity and cognitive ability
95-86 percentile IQ 130 – 116 85-73 percentile IQ Attorney, Research Analyst Editor, Advertising Manager Chemist, Engineer, Executive Manager, Trainee, Systems Analyst, Auditor Copywriter, Accountant Manager/Supervisor Sales Manager Sales, Programmer Analyst, Teacher, Adjuster General Manager Purchasing Agent Registered Nurse Sales Account Executive

50 Complexity and cognitive ability
Administrative Assistant Store Manager, Bookkeeper Credit Clerk. Drafter, Designer Lab Tester/Tech, Assistant Manager General Sales, Telephone Sales Secretary, Accounting Clerk, Medical Debt Collection Computer Operator Customer Service Rep Technician, Automotive Salesman Clerk, Typist Dispatcher, General Office Police Patrol Officer Receptionist, Cashier General Clerical Inside Sales Clerk, Meter Reader Printer, Teller, Data Entry Electrical Helper 70-60 percentile IQ 55-50 percentile IQ

51 Complexity and cognitive ability
45-42 percentile IQ 98-95 37-21 percentile IQ 93-87 Machinist, Food Dept Manager Quality Control Checker Claims Clerk, Driver/Deliveryman Security Guard, Unskilled Labor Maintenance, Machine Operator Arc Welder, Die Setter, Mechanic Medical/Dental Assistant Messenger, Factory Production Assembler, Food Service Worker Nurse’s Aide, Warehouseman Custodian/Janitor Material Handler Packer

52 Economic Value I Predictive Power Intelligence
r = .6 to r = .2 Intelligence Conscientiousness (managerial) Openness Creativity (innovative) Emotional Stability Agreeableness Extraversion

53 Economic Value II Binomial Effect Size Price’s Law
Economic Impact of Prediction

54 Pareto Distribution

55 Individual variation and productivity

56 Economic value and placement
Number of years Current - Potential Predictor Job Complexity High complexity = high variability Salary Theoretically proportionate to output Average output must be 2x salary


58 Process Advertise Test online Screen Interview best candidates


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61 First, only roughly 30% of applicants are accepted to the program.
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