Underprediction of performance for US minorities using cognitive ability measures

Underprediction of performance for US minorities using cognitive ability measures Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine moderating effects of employee race on ability–performance relationships in a well‐controlled study. Design/methodology/approach – The cognitive ability of a large sample ( n = 972) of employees in a garment manufacturing organization was measured using a well‐validated instrument (the General Aptitude Test Battery). Relationships to objective measures of performance were assessed for differential validity. Findings – Contrary to expectations, the correlation between ability and performance was found to be stronger for black employees than white employees. This results in underprediction of performance for black job applicants if a common cutoff score is used. Research limitations/implications – The near demise of research on differential validity may be premature. Subgroup differences are more likely to be detected when appropriate research designs are used. Practical implications – Organizations may risk moral and legal problems if they use selection procedures without adequately addressing potential problems with differential validity. Originality/value – This paper stimulates interest in examining potential race‐based differential validity effects when examining organizational selection procedures. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Equal Opportunities International Emerald Publishing

Underprediction of performance for US minorities using cognitive ability measures

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0261-0159
DOI
10.1108/02610150810882305
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine moderating effects of employee race on ability–performance relationships in a well‐controlled study. Design/methodology/approach – The cognitive ability of a large sample ( n = 972) of employees in a garment manufacturing organization was measured using a well‐validated instrument (the General Aptitude Test Battery). Relationships to objective measures of performance were assessed for differential validity. Findings – Contrary to expectations, the correlation between ability and performance was found to be stronger for black employees than white employees. This results in underprediction of performance for black job applicants if a common cutoff score is used. Research limitations/implications – The near demise of research on differential validity may be premature. Subgroup differences are more likely to be detected when appropriate research designs are used. Practical implications – Organizations may risk moral and legal problems if they use selection procedures without adequately addressing potential problems with differential validity. Originality/value – This paper stimulates interest in examining potential race‐based differential validity effects when examining organizational selection procedures.

Journal

Equal Opportunities InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 27, 2008

Keywords: United States of America; Job applications; Selection; Performance appraisal; Race; Cognition

References

  • Testing for fairness with a moderated multiple regression strategy: an alternative to differential analysis
    Bartlett, C.J.; Bobko, P.; Mosier, S.B.; Hannan, R.
  • Derivation and implications of a meta‐analytic matrix incorporating cognitive ability, alternative predictors, and job performance
    Bobko, P.; Roth, P.L.; Potosky, D.
  • Test bias: prediction of grades of negro and white students in integrated colleges
    Cleary, T.A.
  • Exploring black‐white subgroup differences of managerial competencies
    Goldstein, H.W.; Yusko, K.P.; Nicolopoulos, V.
  • Predicting training success: not much more than g
    Ree, M.J.; Earles, J.A.

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