Chapter 18 Summary of Ch 18

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2080A/B
Professor
Psychology Test And Measurement 2080
Monday, November 22nd 2010
Lecture 18
Notes
Chapter 18: Testing in Industrial and Business Settings
Basic Concepts
Involves the application of psychological principles in the workplace
Specialized field known as industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology
Similar to human resources but I/O psychologists establish themselves by the
methods they apply
Emphasize structured psychological testing
Rely extensively on research, quantitative methods, and testing procedures
Two major areas are personnel psychology and organizational study
Personnel psychology is the study and practice of job analysis, job recruitment,
employee selection and the evaluation of employee performance
Organizational psychology considers leadership, job satisfaction, employee
motivation, and a variety of other factors surrounding the functioning of
organizations
Personnel Psychology – The Selection of Employees
We begin by reviewing the oldest approach to employee selection – the
employment interview
The employment interview helps people make selection and promotion decisions
in business and industry
Most research supports a structured format for the employment interview
Studies have indicated that structured interviews are useful in helping
interviewers to reach agreement on their employee decisions
The loss of flexibility in structured interviewers can therefore be balanced by an
increase in reliability
Meta-analytic investigations have found that structured interviews are twice as
valid as unstructured interviews
The employment interview searches for negative or unfavourable rather than
favourable evidence about a person
If negative evidence is found the person will likely not be hired unless there is a
high demand for workers and few individuals are available to fill open positions
A study by E.C. Webster demonstrated the importance of making an impression
As few as one unfavourable impression was followed by a final rejection rate of
90%
This value dropped by 25% when early impressions were favourable
Webster and others caution employment interviewers against forming an early
bias that might result in rejecting a competent individual
Negative factors that commonly lead to the rejection of candidates include poor
communication skills, lack of confidence or poise, low enthusiasm, nervousness,
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and failure to make eye contact
Positive factors include the ability to express oneself, self-confidence and poise,
enthusiasm, the ability to sell oneself, and aggressiveness
Can you increase your chances of presenting yourself favourably in a job
interview?
Heimberg, Keller, and Peca-Baker noted that competent performance in a job
interview is one of the most important factors in obtaining employment
A good first impression is one of the most important factors in a successful
interview
To make a good impression, one needs to wear professional attire and show good
grooming, project and aura of competence and expertise, and give an impression
of friendliness or personal warmth through nonverbal cues
Going too far with these tactics can backfire
In a study by Baron, it was found that when two tactics (wearing perfume or
nonverbal cues such as eye contact) were used alone, they produced enhanced
ratings for applicants, but when used together they did not – likely because they
caused the applicant to be perceived as manipulative
Interviews remain the primary tool for selecting employees
However, personnel psychology places a strong emphasis on formal quantitative
models and the use of tests for employee selection
Base Rates And Hit Rates
For many industrial applications, other factors must also be considered, such as
the amount of information a selection strategy gives you beyond what would be
known without it
This can be derived from an analysis of base rates and hit rates
Often, tests are used to place individuals into one of two categories
For example, in a job interview, a candidate can be deemed acceptable or
unacceptable
Because tests vary in their accuracy, test administrators must examine the
possibility of erroneously assigning someone to a category
If a test is used to make a dichotomous (two-choice) decision, then a cutoff score
is usually used
The score marking the point of decision is called the cutting score
Establishing a cutting score does not ensure correct decisions
If a person meets the cutting score but then fails at the job, it can be determined
that the test has not done its job
Tests can be evaluated by how well they sort people into the right categories
In addition to the score on the test, the employer must also have some data on
how people really do on the job
To do this, the employer must define some criterion for deciding whether job
performance has been acceptable or unacceptable
Using these two sets of categories, the employer can construct a chart like the one
shown below:
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Decision on the Basis of
Cutting Score
Decision on the Basis of
Cutting Score
Performance on the Job Acceptable Unacceptable
Success Hit Miss
Failure Miss Hit
Two of the four cells are labeled “hit” because the test has made the correct
prediction
A hit occurs when:
1. The test predicts that the person will be unacceptable an the person fails
2. The test indicates that the person is acceptable and the person succeeds
Misses occur when the test makes an inaccurate prediction
The hit rate is the percentage of cases in which a test accurately predicts success
or failure
Often, a test does not need a good hit rate, because the rate of predicting success
on the job is high without the test
For example, admissions officers might predict who will do well in law school
based on information other than the LSAT, such as college grades
Success on the criterion in this case might be passing the bar exam on the first
attempt
The pass rate without using the LSAT would be the base rate
The base rate is the proportion of people expected to succeed on a criterion if they
are chosen at random
The real value of a test comes from a comparison of the hit rate with the base rate
In other words, the hit rate must tell us how much information a test contributes to
the prediction of success beyond what we would know by just examining the
proportion of people who succeed
For example, if the LSAT has a hit rate of 76% for predicting who will pass in a
given province, but 85% of people pass, then the LSAT tells us less than we
would have known without it
Another problem to consider with regard to hit and miss rates is relative cost
Medical situations provide a good example (tumors being malignant when your
test claimed they were benign)
This case is an example of a false negative
If the cost of a false negative is high, then the test developer might lower the
cutting score
With a lower cutting score, the test will make more but safer errors
The other type of a miss is a false positive
An example of this would be hiring someone because they did well on the
employment test, but then needing to fire them because they did poorly at the job
This type of error can sometimes be very costly
If the costs of a false positive are too high, you may want to raise the cutting score
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Document Summary

Chapter 18: testing in industrial and business settings. If negative evidence is found the person will likely not be hired unless there is a high demand for workers and few individuals are available to fill open positions: a study by e. c. Webster demonstrated the importance of making an impression: as few as one unfavourable impression was followed by a final rejection rate of. Interviews remain the primary tool for selecting employees: however, personnel psychology places a strong emphasis on formal quantitative models and the use of tests for employee selection. If the costs of a false positive are too high, you may want to raise the cutting score. This could be that the patient lived, that the person succeeded at the job, or that the student did well in college. This is the percentage of applicants who are selected or admitted: determination of validity coefficient: finally, a validity coefficient for.