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Psychology of Personaity

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By joe2315
Words 1256
Pages 6
S08 Psychology of Personality
Lesson 8

Employers use personality tests in the interviewing process to try to select the best person for the job among many candidates. Companies have to determine if it is more cost effective to give personality tests before they hire a candidate or if they can afford the risk of possible employee turn-over. The techniques that are used by each company help to determine whether or not a particular candidate fits the job description and whether or not the candidate will succeed. Following the directions of the personality test, keeping the results private while not invading personal privacy makes personality tests as part of the interviewing process ethical and meaningful. There are several types of tests that an employer can use to test a candidates personality. They range from self-assessment questionnaires to more structured and measureable tests like computer adaptive tests. Each test has its own strengths and theoretical background, and employer’s need to find a test that works best for their company. Employers use personality profiles so that they can choose a candidate with the right personality traits to fill the position. Knowing that you need a self-motivated or persistent person is very important when asking questions during an interview. The more specific the questions that the employer asks the more accurate the answers will be about that candidates’ true personality. Since a person’s personality doesn’t generally change significantly in adulthood, the results should show tendencies of the potential candidate. The biological theory of personality suggest that genetics are responsible for personality. Research on heritability suggests that there is a link between genetics and personality traits. The behavioral theory of personality suggests that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. The psychodynamic theory of personality emphasizes the influence of the unconscious mind and childhood experiences on personality. The humanist theory of personality emphasizes the importance of free will and individual experience in the development of a personality. Humanist theorists emphasize the concept of self-actualization for personal growth that motivates behavior. The trait theory of personality suggests that there is a large number of broad traits that make up a personality. A trait is basically a relatively stable characteristic that causes an individual to behave in certain ways. The cognitive theory of personality is focused on the individual’s thoughts as the determinate of emotions and behaviors and therefore personality. Cognitive theorists believe that without these thought processes we would have no emotions or behaviors. In other words, thoughts always come before and feelings and before any action. So what does all of this mean? That it doesn’t matter what theoretical background a personality test comes from, a personality is an important part of life and work. And each employer needs to choose a personality test that fits with their company. There are many self-assessment test that can be given to a candidate. Eysenck’s PEN model is a three-dimensional model consisting of levels of psychoticism, extraversion and neuroticism. The Five Factor Model or Big 5 is a five-dimensional model consisting of levels of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. A candidate’s personality is graded on a continuum of these traits to provide a personality profile. Candidates read questions or statements and then rate how well the question or statement applies to them. Scores are calculated to provide insight into that specific candidate’s personality and show tendencies of that person. Some companies use computer adaptive personality tests. These tests give each candidate an individual test experience because the test adapts to the answers that are provided while drawing new questions from a large collection of possibilities. Computer adaptive tests that measure personality show validity for performance that is the same or exceeds that of traditional personality measurements. (Kantrowitz, 2011) Another common test that companies use is the Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System. Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment Systems provide a more precise measurement of wider array of personality traits. (Kantrowitz, 2011) It also provides each candidate with an individual test experience because the flow of questions that are asked change as you answer them. As long as the questions that are being asked are specific to the job, don’t invade personal privacy, the results aren’t shared with others and are true personality testing questions; taking a personality test before being hired wouldn’t be unethical. For a personality test to be meaningful in the interviewing process, it must be reliable and valid. Reliability of a test is a requirement for selecting a test. If a test does not measure consistently, then it cannot be valid. Assessing the reliability of personality tests is crucial for accurate selection. In general, most commercial personality tests have demonstrated high reliability. The validity of personality tests has been measured in a number of research studies and can be assessed in two main ways: content validity and criterion-related validity. Additionally, meta-analysis has been used to understand the validity of personality tests. Content validity is an assessment of the degree to which the items on a test capture the domain of interest. This assessment is made by subject matter experts. While content validity is an important assessment of the usefulness of a selection test, criterion-related validity provides empirical evidence as to a test's accuracy. Criterion-related validity indicates how well a test predicts job performance. In a concurrent criterion-related validity study of a personality test, job incumbents are given the personality test, and their job performance is measured at the same time. A correlation between test scores and job performance indicates the level of validity of the new test. In predictive criterion-related validity, job applicants are given the new personality test. After a certain period of time those scores are correlated with job performance scores of the new employees to determine the validity of the test. Meta-analysis is a statistical technique that can be used to further explore the validity of selection tests. Meta-analysis combines individual research studies to indicate an overall average validity for most jobs. Based on this information, most personality tests have low to moderate validity, as compared to other selection methods such as intelligence tests, work samples, and structured interviews. However, they are still useful for hiring in many jobs because the information they provide is unique. There are three major threats to the validity of personality tests: faking, socially desirable responding, and careless responding. While all occur for different reasons, the effects of these types of responses can reduce the validity of personality tests. To avoid these problems, many personality tests now include scales to detect faking, socially desirable responding, and response carelessness. From those scores, true scores can be adjusted. To hire people effectively, you need to think about staffing needs over the long term rather than the staffing needs of this month. Knowing the personality traits you want your new employee to have is important in the selection process so that there is little employee turn-over. Asking questions that are specific to the job and company and providing a valid and reliable personality test makes this part of an interview meaningful and ethical.

References
Miserandino, M. (2012). Personality Psychology Foundations and Findings. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.
Tracy M. Kantrowitz, C. R. (2011, May 4). Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT): A Faster, Smarter, and More Secure Approach to Pre-Employment Testing. Journal of Business Psychology, pp. 227-232.…...

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