Progress Is Our Most Important Product:
Contributions of Validity Generalization
and Mela Analysis to the Development and
Communication of Knowledge in I/O Psychology
Hannah R. Rothstein
Biostatistical Programming Associates
Although Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychologists sometimes use them interchangeably, validity generalization and meta-analysis are not, in fact, synonymous terms. The two terms are often confused because of the genesis of meta-analysis in I/O psychology in the sphere of personnel selection validities. It is important to differentiate the two terms in order to assess the contribution each has made to I/O psychology over the past 25 years. Thus this chapter starts by providing a definition of meta-analysis, and following is a discussion about the unique features of the HunterSchmidt method of meta-analysis, and an explanation of where in this scheme of things validity generalization fits. Following this is an explanation of what are the major contributions of metaanalysis as a methodology, and noted is the distinctive contributions of psychometric (Hunter-Schmidt) meta-analysis. After a brief review of the original set of meta-analytic findings in personnel selection research, this chapter illustrates noteworthy recent programs of research in personnel selection that have been developed largely through the application of meta-analysis. The chapter's concluding section contains some suggestions for enhancing the contribution of meta-analysis to the development and communication of knowledge in I/O psychology.
Meta-analysis is the quantitative combination of information from multiple empirical studies to produce an estimate of the over-