Apparently my column in the October 2006 issue of The Industrial Psychologist (or “TIP” to the cool I/O Psychologists) is out. I haven’t gotten my print copy yet, but it’s also available for virtual perusal by clicking right here. God, they still have that horrible picture of me where my head looks really tiny. I need to fix that.
Anyway, I’m sure this is of interest to exactly one regular reader of this site (hi, David!), but in this issue my colleague and I once again discuss research and other articles that exemplify the much sought after Scientist Practitioner. Here’s a taste:
Finally, Roth, Bobko, and Switzer recently published an article in Journal of Applied Psychology that illustrates how practices can sometimes drive research instead of the other way around. The authors model the behavior of the “4/5ths Rule” for determining the presence of adverse impact in a selection system, but they do so using a variety of computer simulations in both hypothetical and realistic situations. For those of you in need of a primer, the 4/5ths rule, whose origin it turns out is more indeterminable than you might guess, is a relatively simple rule of thumb that says that a selection system creates adverse impact if a protected class’s selection ratio is less than 80% (i.e., four fifths) of the selection ratio for the most often selected class. This procedure is unfettered by complex statistical significance tests and thus preferred by courts and government agencies who don’t want to require such specialized knowledge of key decision makers when it comes to evaluating adverse impact claims.
Riveting, right? I could talk more about Samantha’s potty training instead if you’d like.