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How to investigate the criterion-related validity of a general ability test
General ability tests are the underlying tools used to assess the potential of candidates in relation to their intellectual capability to perform a given function. According to a study conducted by Kulas (2012), findings suggested that general ability tests measure the cognitive abilities of an individual, which Davison and Bing (2009) categorized as an essential predictor of job performance. Across the different types of general ability tests, validity of the test is questioned in the event that the proposed job presents complexities that require the job applicant to exercise their skill set. This paper gives an in-depth overview of how the validity of the criterion of administering a general ability test is determined.
The criterion-related validity of a test refers to the extent to which the performance of an assessment procedure reflects on a specific parameter such as productivity, job performance and the success of training. There are three main ways of evaluating the criterion related validity of a test, as explained by Davison and Bing (2009). In the concurrent validity, the job performance tests are taken at the same time the evaluation is conducted. Through this method, the relationship between the job and the current assessment performance is established. On the other hand, the predictive validity involves conducting the tests now but assessing the performance later. Other than the predictive and concurrent validity, Iliescu, Ilie and Ispas (2011) introduced the post-dative validity, which he explained as the use of a current test to assess an earlier occurrence or observation.
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Having considered these forms of criterion-related validity, it is important to map the case study into the above definition in a bid to establish the best way of testing the validity of the general ability test. The first step, therefore, involves gathering the scores from the general ability tests for the participants who applied for the job. The next step will involve matching the participants’ scores with their respective performance assessments over the period they have performed their respective duties. Considering the fact that the applicants for the job are new to the organization, it would be important to wait for a few months to acquire their respective performances. By matching these data together, a correlation will arise between the performance of the individual in the general ability test and the assessment of their job performance over the period that they have worked.
Therefore, the predictive validity is the best way to investigate the criterion-related validity of the general ability test. Ispas, Iliescu, Ilie and Johnson (2010) developed a model that can be used to interpret the findings of the job performance assessment, hence developing a relationship between it and the individual performance in the general ability test. In this model, the correlation between these two variables is calculated. The higher the correlation, the higher the degrees of criterion-related validity of a general ability test.
The criterion-related validity is a vital indicator of the expected performance of individuals. To ascertain the criterion-related validity, Kulas (2012) writes, it is inevitable for the test to attain the desired correlation between the test scores and the job performance assessment.
- Davison, H. & Bing, M. (2009). Content Validity Does Matter for the Criterion-Related Validity of Personality Tests. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2(4), 501-503. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-9434.2009.01182.x
- Iliescu, D., Ilie, A., & Ispas, D. (2011). Examining the Criterion-Related Validity of the Employee Screening Questionnaire: A Three-Sample Investigation. International Journal Of Selection And Assessment, 19(2), 222-228. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2011.00550.x
- Ispas, D., Iliescu, D., Ilie, A., & Johnson, R. (2010). Examining the Criterion Related Validity of the General Ability Measure for Adults: A two sample investigation. International Journal Of Selection And Assessment, 18(2), 226-229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2010.00505.x
- Kulas, J. (2012). Personality-Based Profile Matching in Personnel Selection: Estimates of Method Prevalence and Criterion-Related Validity. Applied Psychology, 62(3), 519-542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2012.00491.x