PERSONALITY TESTS AT THE CROSSROADS: A RESPONSE TO MORGESON, CAMPION, DIPBOYE, HOLLENBECK, MURPHY, AND SCHMITT (2007)

Authors


  • Both authors contributed equally to the development of this reply.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Robert P. Tett, Department of Psychology, 600 S. College Ave., University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104; robert-tett@utulsa.edu

Abstract

Despite widespread and growing acceptance that published personality tests are valid predictors of job performance, Morgeson et al. (2007) propose they be abandoned in personnel selection because average validity estimates are low. Our review of the literature shows that Morgeson et al.'s skepticism is unfounded. Meta-analyses have demonstrated that published personality tests, in fact, yield useful validity estimates when validation is based on confirmatory research using job analysis and taking into account the bidirectionality of trait–performance linkages. Further gains are likely by use of narrow over broad measures, multivariate prediction, and theory attuned to the complexities of trait expression and evaluation at work. Morgeson et al. also suggest that faking has little, if any, impact on personality test validity and that it may even contribute positively to job performance. Job applicant research suggests that faking under true hiring conditions attenuates personality test validity but that validity is still sufficiently strong to warrant personality test use in hiring. Contrary to Morgeson et al., we argue that the full value of published personality tests in organizations has yet to be realized, calling for programmatic theory-driven research.

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