forecastingprinciples.com Reviews of Important Papers on Forecasting
Before 1985 Reviews
Review of:

I. T. Robertson and R. S. Kandola (1982), “Work sample tests: validity, adverse impact and applicant reaction," Journal of Occupational Psychology, 55 171-183.


This review paper examined the validity of psychomotor work samples, job-related information, situational decision-making, and group discussion as predictors of job performance, job progress, and training. The conclusions, based on over 60 empirical studies, showed that each of the four methods was of roughly equal validity when no distinctions were made between criteria used. For the specific criterion of job performance, the psychomotor work samples were of highest predictive validity followed by group discussion, situational decision making, then job related information tests. When compared with traditional (pencil and paper) psychological tests, work sample tests appeared to have smaller adverse impact (i.e. they are not as biased against minorities). Furthermore, work sample tests seemed to allow applicants to make better predictions of how they would do on the given job. Finally, applicants were more favorable to work samples as a predictive and selection technique. Some concern was expressed, however, that work sample predictive performance may not be good for longer term forecasts, although direct evidence on this issue was not available. Research to investigate the long term validity of work samples compared with traditional tests would be useful.