RECONSIDERING THE USE OF PERSONALITY TESTS IN PERSONNEL SELECTION CONTEXTS

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Abstract:

Although long thought to be unrelated to job performance, research in the early 1990s provided evidence that personality can predict job performance. Accompanying this research was a resurgence of interest in the use of personality tests in high-stakes selection environments. Yet there are numerous potential problems associated with the current operational use of personality. As such, 5 former journal editors from Personnel Psychology and the Journal of Applied Psychology (2 primary outlets for such research), who have collectively reviewed over 7,000 manuscripts and who have no vested interest in personality testing, reconsider the research on the use of personality tests in environments where important selection decisions are made. Their comments are based on a panel discussion held at the 2004 SIOP conference. Collectively, they come to several conclusions. First, faking on self-report personality tests cannot be avoided and perhaps is not the issue; the issue is the very low validity of personality tests for predicting job performance. Second, as such, using published self-report personality tests in selection contexts should be reconsidered. Third, personality constructs may have value for employee selection, but future research should focus on finding alternatives to self-report personality measures.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00089.x

Affiliations: 1: Michigan State University 2: Purdue University 3: University of Central Florida 4: Pennsylvania State University

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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