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Construct, item, and method bias of cognitive and personality tests in South Africa

D. Meiring, A. J. R. Van De Vijver, S. Rothmann, M. R. Barrick

SA Journal of Industrial Psychology; Vol 31, No 1 (2005), . doi: 10.4102/sajip.v31i1.182

Submitted: 26 October 2005
Published:  29 October 2005


Bias was studied for two cognitive tests and a personality test at three levels: the construct underlying the test (“construct bias"), method-related aspects such as response sets (“method bias"), and the items (“item bias"). The sample consisted of 13 681 participants who had applied for entry-level jobs in the South African Police Service. The cognitive instruments produced very good construct equivalence and low item bias. However, various scales of the personality questionnaire revealed construct bias in various ethnic groups. The item bias in the personality scales was low. Method bias did not have any impact on the (small) size of the cross-cultural differences in the personality scales. In addition, several personality scales revealed low internal consistencies, notably in the black groups.

Sydigheid is bestudeer vir twee kognitiewe toetse en ’n persoonlikheidstoets op drie vlakke: die konstruk onderliggend aan die toets (“konstruksydigheid�?), metode-verwante aspekte soos responspatrone (“metodesydigheid�?), en die items (“itemsydigheid�?). Die steekproef het bestaan uit 13 681 deelnemers wat aansoek gedoen het om intreevlak-poste in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens. Die kognitiewe instrumente het baie goeie konstrukekwivalensie en lae itemsydigheid getoon. Verskeie skale van die persoonlikheidsvraelys het egter konstruksydigheid in verskeie etniese groepe getoon. Die itemsydigheid in die persoonlikheidskale was laag. Metodesydigheid het nie enige uitwerking op die (klein) omvang van die kruiskulturele verskille in die persoonlikheidskale gehad nie. Verder het verskeie persoonlikheidskale lae interne konsekwentheid getoon – veral in die swart groepe.

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Author affiliations

D. Meiring, South African Police Services Pretoria, South Africa
A. J. R. Van De Vijver, , South Africa
S. Rothmann, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa
M. R. Barrick, University of Iowa, United States


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1. Beyond Agreeableness: Social–relational personality concepts from an indigenous and cross-cultural perspective
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doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2013.10.003

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