[IPAC-List] Paradox in the 1999 APA Standards

Dennis Doverspike dd1 at uakron.edu
Fri May 28 11:35:58 EDT 2010

As I was typing, Bryan supplied the reference for one of the recent articles
that questions the finding of a "fair" regression line. However, while I
believe Aquinis deals with the question of a "fair' regression line, I do
not believe it addresses the paradox issue. The paradox issue has nothing to
do with empirical data, it is a function of how we define the best solution.

And one last thing - we should avoid reifying or trying to develop
theoretical explanations for the paradox, it is basically the same phenomena
as regression to the mean.

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 Bryan Baldwin
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 11:25 AM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org; Joel Wiesen; Patrick McCoy
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Paradox in the 1999 APA Standards

Just a reminder about Aguinis, et al.'s forthcoming publication in J.A.P.
that addresses this issue: http://mypage.iu.edu/~haguinis/JAPtestbias2.pdf

Bryan Baldwin
Staff Services Manager II
California Department of Justice
Division of Administrative Support
Personnel Programs
(916) 322-5446

>>> Patrick McCoy <Patrick.McCoy at psc-cfp.gc.ca> 5/28/2010 8:13 AM >>>

Hello Joel:

That quote is a bit surprising. Quite a bit of research used to show that
with one regression line the performance of minorities is actually often
"over predicted" rather than under predicted. That is, minorities perform
worse in school or on the job than the equation would suggest they would
(which would imply more false positives for minorities; right?).

Two relevant references are:

Zwick, R. (2002). Fair game?: The use of standardized admission tests in
higher education. NY: Routledge Falmer; Chapter 5 might be most useful

Sackett,P.R., & Wilk,S.L. (1994). Within-group norming and other forms of
score adjustment in preemployment testing. American Psychologist, 49(11),

Good luck! This is likely a difficult area.

Pat McCoy,Ph.D.
Ottawa, Canada

>>> Joel Wiesen <jwiesen at appliedpersonnelresearch.com> 5/27/2010 7:09 pm >>>

A paradox that is seen in selection applications is described in the APA
Standards as follows:

"... a given selection score and criterion threshold will often result
in proportionately more false negative decisions in groups with lower
mean test scores. In other words, a lower-scoring group will usually
have a higher proportion of examinees who are rejected on the basis of
their test scores even though they would have performed successfully if
they had been selected. This seeming paradox is a statistical
consequence of the imperfect correlation between test and criterion."
(AERA, APA, NCME, 1999, page 79, col 2.)

The Standards do not provide a literature citation for this statement.
Can anyone point me to published literature on this topic?



Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
62 Candlewood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040
(617) 244-8859

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