The Argument Against the use of Occupational Testing in Employment Settings
1. The appropriateness of the linear selection model
-Many attributes are not equally beneficial in terms of the "more is better"
-Essentially, more of a certain attribute does not mean that it is
-Example: Extraversion is considered a positive trait to have in business
settings to a certain degree. Past a certain point of extraversion, the
worker could become distracting to others and reduce positive effects.
2. The multi-dimensionality of personality traits
-There is no way that a single test can accurately predict honesty,
violent behavior, or any number of other personality attributes
-Many tests that seek to identify these aspects fail, thus invalidating
the entire reason for the tests
-Tests that would accurately reflect these attributes would be too
expensive and time consuming
3. Faking (Social desirability and impression management)
-Most people know what the people giving the test are looking for
-Naturally will provide answers that will reflect them in the best of
-Thus, very unrepresentative of actual person
-The highest scores are most likely to be those influenced by faking
-Thus, those individuals hired are more likely to have been hired based on
false scores on tests
4. Problems with lie scales that determine faking
-Inaccurate: May detect "false negatives"
-Considers people that are "too good to be true," who may in fact be that
good as liars, and does not consider them for employment
-Most "lie detectors" will only pick out the few individuals that are foolish
enough to consistently select extreme answers while passing on the "good"
liars as ones that have passed an honesty test
-some lie scales are too simple: "Have you responded honestly and accurately?
Yes or No?"
5. Legal implications:
-Some tests discriminate against groups based on minorities or genders
-Very easy to get sued for discrimination based on using tests for employment
-Money saved (and much more) from using the tests can be lost on legal fees
and court decisions