[IPAC-List] selection validation question

Dennis Doverspike dd1 at uakron.edu
Thu May 28 20:17:24 EDT 2009


1. I am responding based on the general information you have given - sort of
as a hypothetical.

2. OK, given that, I wonder if the consultant really means "validity
generalization" when they say "validity generalization." A lot of
consultants, when they say "validity generalization" really mean what we
would call "transfer validity." The uniform guidelines were written before
the validity generalization articles were published, more or less, so of
course the Uniform Guidelines do not mention validity generalization as we
mean it. They could not have unless they were somehow able to see the
future. But the Uniform Guidelines do mention a type of validity generally
referred to as "transfer" that a lot of consulting firms do use with their
published tests. So I am wondering whether the consultant really wants to
use or conduct some type of transfer study.

3. The section you cite about content validity from the Uniform Guidelines
has probably been superseded by court cases since the Uniform Guidelines
were written (not a lawyer). However, in the situation you are describing,
it would be very difficult to support the test based only on a content

4. The bigger issue I guess no one yet has addressed - is it the
consultant's test or intellectual property? If it is, and they have certain
rules for the use of their test, I would think I would be reluctant to use a
test, or a drug, or any instrument, where I do not follow the procedures the
professional offering the service wants me to follow. If they say I have to
do a VG study before I use their test, isn't that their right to do so? Of
course, then it is my right to go to someone else who does not require me to
do a VG study and buy a test from a different consultant. I would doubt this
is the only consultant selling a test of this type. I might give an analogy.
I might go to Doctor A, who says, before I operate on you, you have to lose
30 pounds. Then I might go to Doctor B who says, you don't have to lose
weight before I operate on you, there are studies that suggest it has no
effect. Now, if I want the surgery, I would not go back to Doctor A and say
- operate on me right now, I don't need to lose 30 pounds. Because I imagine
Doctor A would say - no way, I am not taking the chance. If I don't want to
lose the weight, I would have Doctor B operate.

Dennis Doverspike, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor of Psychology
Director, Center for Organizational Research
Senior Fellow of the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology
Psychology Department
University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-4301
330-972-8372 (Office)
330-972-5174 (Office Fax)
ddoverspike at uakron.edu

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org]
On Behalf Of Megan Paul
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 5:49 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] selection validation question

A few points of clarification...

I have every reason to believe that this measure will *not* result in
adverse impact, but I support following the Uniform Guidelines as a
matter of good practice. I'm just not sure I understand / agree with the
interpretation I'm being given.

I definitely understand the importance of an updated job analysis, and
it is likely that we will update the previous one ourselves (the biggest
issue is convincing the agency to give us SME time). What I mostly
question is the insistence on all the validity generalization work as a
precursor to the criterion-related validation, and I definitely don't
see where it's "required" by the Guidelines.

The following paragraph from the UG applies to this particular test, so
content validity isn't going to be sufficient:
"A selection procedure based upon inferences about mental processes
cannot be supported solely or primarily on the basis of content
validity. Thus, a content strategy is not appropriate for demonstrating
the validity of selection procedures which purport to measure traits or
constructs, such as intelligence, aptitude, personality, commonsense,
judgment, leadership, and spatial ability."

The test would be used in conjunction with several other selection tools
that measure many other KSAs, so it does not need to "do it all."

Megan E. Paul, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Center on Children, Families, and the Law
206 S. 13th Street, Suite 1000
Lincoln, NE 68588-0227

(402) 472-9812 Office
(402) 472-8412 Fax

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