Preemployment Honesty Testing: Current Research and Future Directions

By John W. Jones | Go to book overview

equation, the multiple R increases to .70. This value is similar to the final phi coefficient of .66 found when using the multiple hurdle selection model.

The correlation coefficients for the two selection models were compared to illustrate that the benefits associated with multiple screening procedures generalize to compensatory selection models. However, it should be clear that the type of selection model used does not depend on these statistics. Compensatory selection models assume that low scores on one predictor can be offset by high scores on another. If this assumption is untenable, other selection models, such as a multiple hurdle approach, must be used.


SUMMARY

Bayes's theorem was used as an alternative approach to estimating the false- positive rate for tests of employee theft and counterproductivity. Examples were provided to illustrate how follow-up screening procedures can reduce either false- positive or false-negative decision errors, as well as the total number of incorrect decisions. A review of the relevant literature appears to indicate that continued research in the area of integrity testing can provide organizations with alternative methods of identifying dishonest applicants.


NOTES

The author would like to thank Bruce Fisher, Jack Jones, Maureen McConnell, and Bob Vance for their helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript.

1.
In this context, positive or negative refers to the outcome of the test rather than to an accept-reject selection decision. A positive outcome indicates that a test has classified an applicant as dishonest (i.e., at risk for dishonest behaviors at work given the need and opportunity). Honest applicants who are incorrectly identified as dishonest constitute false- positive decision errors.
2.
In practice, it is important to make a distinction between the false-positive rate and labeling applicants as dishonest. Test administrators are trained to understand that all psychological tests produce errors in prediction (i.e., false positives and false negatives) and that no applicant should be labeled as dishonest.
3.
In this context, an independent screening procedure refers to an alternative measure that is equally effective in identifying honest and dishonest applicants. This does not imply that the results produced by the two screenings are independent or uncorrelated. Many honest and dishonest applicants would be correctly classified by both measures. For this example, the two screening procedures are correlated .33.
4.
Although this validity coefficient may appear relatively high, it was computed using an estimate of the base rate obtained directly from base rate studies, which is expected to be higher and more accurate than would be realized in actual criterion-related validity studies. In addition, the meta-analysis conducted by McDaniel and Jones ( 1988) revealed a mean validity coefficient of .50.

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