I write other stuff, too


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.

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5 thoughts on “I write other stuff, too

  1. Jamie,
    Have you ever come across any articles/research demonstrating the relationship between credit scores and job performance. A few of us at my company are trying to convince leadership to do away with using credit scores for our sales and processing jobs. I had some of my team go to UCI today, but they turned up nothing that contained any empirical evidence for or against.

  2. No, I’m not aware of anything, though I’m surprised you couldn’t find anything through PsychLit or the like. I’m pretty sure there must be some research out there. The idea never made sense to me from a construct point of view, since there’s so much room for measurement error –you could have a bad credit score for many reasons unrelated to qualities or behaviors necessary for the job in question.

  3. Yeah, there isn’t much out there. I emailed Steve, he mentioned Paul Sackett might have done some research. I’m going to send him an email on Monday. Seriously thinking about doing our own study with Sales. Instead of looking at job performance, I was thinking of maybe a discriminant function analysis. Involuntary Term for Cause (usually fraud)or Other Term could be my two groups. I could then codify the credit scores and see if is a good predictor of group membership (fraud/no fraud).

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