Using Personality Testing to Reduce Adverse Impact: A Cautionary Note

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Abstract

Adding a personality test to an ability test for employee selection has been suggested as a means of enhancing validity while reducing adverse impact of the selection system. Adverse impact was examined with different weightings of ability and personality testing at varying selection ratios using data from two large applicant samples. This demonstration indicated that the use of personality testing did not compensate for the adverse impact related to cognitive ability testing and that applicant pool characteristics and the nature of the personality measure may be important considerations. Overall, results suggest caution in presuming a reduction in adverse impact by the addition of personality measures.

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