Criminal Justice and Behaviorhttp://cjb.sagepub.com/ Personality Testing in Law Enforcement Employment Settings: A Metaanalytic Review Jorge G. Varela, Marcus T. Boccaccini, Forrest Scogin, Jamie Stump and Alicia Caputo Criminal Justice and Behavior 2004 31: 649 DOI: 10.1177/0093854804268746 The online version of this article can be found at: http://cjb.sagepub.com/content/31/6/649 Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology Additional services and information for Criminal Justice and Behavior can be found at: Email Alerts: http://cjb.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://cjb.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations: http://cjb.sagepub.com/content/31/6/649.refs.html >> Version of Record - Nov 10, 2004 What is This? Downloaded from cjb.sagepub.com at University of Bucharest on August 5, 2014 10.1177/0093854804268746 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR Varela et al. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYMENT SETTINGS A Meta-Analytic Review JORGE G. VARELA Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center MARCUS T. BOCCACCINI FORREST SCOGIN JAMIE STUMP ALICIA CAPUTO The University of Alabama Meta-analysis was used to (a) assess the overall validity of personality measures as predictors of law enforcement officer job performance, (b) investigate the moderating effects of study design characteristics on this relation, and (c) compare effects for commonly used instruments in this setting. Results revealed a modest but statistically significant relation between personality test scores and officer performance. Prediction was strongest for the California Psychological Inventory and weaker for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and Inwald Personality Inventory. Effect sizes were larger for studies examining current job performance, as opposed to future job performance. Implications for using personality tests in the law enforcement officer hiring process are discussed, and recommendations for future research are provided. Keywords: meta-analysis; police; law enforcement; personality assessment I t is standard practice in most major law enforcement agencies to employ the services of mental health professionals to screen job candidates. The general approach followed in these evaluations is one of screening out unfit candidates, rather than selecting in preferred candidates. The typical psychological evaluation involves screening for both major mental illness and personality traits that may interfere CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR, Vol. 31 No. 6, December 2004 649-675 DOI: 10.1177/0093854804268746 © 2004 American Association for Correctional Psychology 649 Downloaded from cjb.sagepub.com at University of Bucharest on August 5, 2014 Ash. Tuscaloosa. Marcus T. Many law enforcement agencies use personality measures as part of their employee selection procedures. Of the 99 surveys distributed. citizen complaints.. fax: 205-348-8648. The University of Alabama.S. Boccaccini.S. being prone to violent outbursts.as.edu. Box 870348. Such traits may include an inability to deal with stressful situations. AL 35487.. Psychology Department. state police departments. Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. This research is based on Jorge G. Department of Psychology. Virginia. Most frequent in the empirical literature are studies attempting to identify specific personality test scales or groups of scales that are predictive of objective performance criteria. Texas. e-mail: [email protected]
this work is done in an environment in which public opinion of the police subculture is low and where the demands and stress of police work may be unappreciated. Ph. AUTHOR NOTE: Jorge G. Screening out unfit job candidates is especially important in law enforcement settings because law enforcement officers are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the public from harm. such as termination. and Britton (1990) surveyed 99 major metropolitan and U. Numerous published and unpublished studies have examined the relation between personality measures and law enforcement officer performance. or subjective performance criteria. Slora. absenteeism. Correspondence concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Forrest Scogin. 2014 .com at University of Bucharest on August 5. Varela’s doctoral dissertation at The University of Alabama. The University of Alabama. The researchers found that 42 (67. the extent to which personality tests are predictive of officer performance is unclear. Varela is with the U.3%) of the departments reported using two or more personality tests for each candidate. 62 were returned. Downloaded from cjb.D. Psychological screening is one mechanism for identifying officer candidates that may be unable to uphold their responsibilities in this environment. Ph.7%) of the departments that responded reported using personality tests as part of their employee selection procedures. Although the frequent use of personality testing in officer selection procedures suggests that those involved in the officer selection process believe these tests contribute useful information. Often. Alicia Caputo is now with the Department of Human Services in Alexandria.ua. Forrest Scogin and Jamie Stump. is now at Sam Houston State University. Twenty-five (40. and potential for substance abuse. and commendations.650 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR with law enforcement officer job performance.D. Texas. telephone: 205-3481924. tardiness.sagepub. 1 These researchers examined the effectiveness of several different types of predictors (personality measures.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. and unskilled). 2014 . Schmitt et al. different outcome measures. Second. three of the meta-analyses included some data from law enforcement settings. Using only personality measures as predictors. sales. also found that effect sizes varied depending on study design characteristics. and Kirsch (1984) conducted a metaanalysis of 99 employee selection studies published in the Journal of Applied Psychology or Personnel Psychology between 1964 and 1982. and mean correlations ranged from . Studies using a concurrent design (data from incumbents) or purely predictive design (recruit data not used for hiring decisions) produced larger Downloaded from cjb. physical ability measures) across several occupational groups (professional.sagepub. Gooding. and their results provide an estimate of the effect sizes that might be expected from a meta-analysis based on a more comprehensive review of the existing law enforcement officer performance literature. managerial. and wages) measures. aptitude assessments. VALIDITY OF PERSONALITY MEASURES IN EMPLOYMENT SETTINGS Several published meta-analyses have examined the validity of personality testing in employment settings. status changes.152 (achievement/grades) for objective performance criteria. and different study designs. First. there is a lack of quantitative integration in this literature. Schmitt. the research methodologies used in these meta-analyses provide a basis for the design of this study. The present study uses meta-analysis to provide a clearer picture of the validity of personality measures in law enforcement settings. there is no clear consensus about what can be predicted from law enforcement officers’ personality test scores.121 (turnover) to .Varela et al. an overall mean correlation of . achievement/grades.149 was observed. skilled. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 651 such as supervisor and peer ratings of performance. Because researchers in this field have used different personality assessment instruments. A mean correlation of .206 was observed for subjective performance criteria. Performance criteria included both subjective (performance ratings) and objective (turnover. clerical. Despite the growing number of studies in this area. Findings from these metaanalyses are reviewed here for two purposes. Noe. Although correlations were higher for subjective performance measures (.120) and for published studies (. In their analyses of study design characteristics. were .sagepub. 1991). Salgado (1997) conducted a similar metaanalysis using samples from European countries and also reported Downloaded from cjb. managers. Barrick and Mount (1991) conducted a meta-analysis to examine the predictive validity of the Big Five personality traits across five occupational groups (professionals. and . and Reddon (1994) conducted a metaanalysis of 86 studies examining the relation between personality measures and job performance (see also Tett. Mean correlations were also significantly larger for studies using job recruits (.186) than objective performance measures (. this difference was not large enough to achieve statistical significance. & Rothstein. the extent to which study design characteristics influenced the predictive validity of personality measures was not reported. Eleven of these studies were of law enforcement officers or recruits.103). Findings were reported for each of the Big Five personality dimensions for police officers. sales.035).238) than exploratory studies (.174.00 (openness to experience).com at University of Bucharest on August 5.10 (agreeableness).10 (emotional stability). . and personnel data). Jackson. . The overall corrected sample-weighted mean correlation between personality measures and job performance was . corrected for range restriction and measurement error in criterion and predictor variables. . training proficiency. the researchers combined correlation coefficients across all available predictors (aptitude assessments.049). Rothstein. and skilled or semiskilled) for three job performance criteria (job proficiency. However.652 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR mean correlations than studies using an employee selection design (recruit data used for hiring decisions). The researchers compared correlations for studies that predicted specific relations between personality measures and performance (confirmatory design) and studies without a clear rationale for expecting significant results (exploratory design) and found that prediction was significantly stronger for confirmatory studies (.09 (extraversion). personality measures). 2014 .215) compared to dissertations (. Mean correlations for police officers.22 (conscientiousness). Jackson.267) compared to studies using only job incumbents (. police. physical ability measures. despite the fact this occupational group accounted for only 13% of the 162 samples included in the meta-analysis. Tett. meta-analysis of the validity of personality testing in law enforcement settings. but unpublished. and .com at University of Bucharest on August 5. O’Brien (1996) conducted a meta-analysis of 29 published studies (N = 4.12 (openness to experience). Mean correlations for police officers. In this unpublished review. incumbent). meta-analyses of the validity of personality tests in employment settings have found that personality test scores have a consistent but modest relation to job performance indices. (1994) found that prediction was better for confirmatory studies compared to exploratory studies and for job recruits compared to job incumbents. The meta-analyses reviewed above also suggest that effect sizes can vary as a result of study design characteristics. When comparing the overall predictive validity of the MMPI and CPI. UNPUBLISHED META-ANALYSIS OF PERSONALITY TESTS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT SETTINGS To our knowledge. Tett et al. 2014 . . O’Brien examined several moderator variables. . O’Brien used two different strategies. . were . / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 653 separate effects for law enforcement samples (k = 3 for most effects). Findings from the Schmitt et al.466) examining the relation between personality measures and law enforcement officer performance.sagepub. corrected for range restriction and measurement error in criterion and predictor variables. there is at least one existing. she examined effect sizes from studies in which a clinician’s interpreta- Downloaded from cjb.15 (emotional stability). including the personality instrument (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory [MMPI] vs. an overall validity coefficient of . (1984) meta-analysis suggest that prediction is strongest for studies using a concurrent or predictive design and weakest for studies using an employee selection design. Barrick and Mount’s (1991) and Salgado’s (1997) results suggest that similar effect sizes might be observed in meta-analyses using only law enforcement officer samples.25 was reported. The question remains as to whether these same relations exist in studies using personality measures to predict law enforcement officer performance. objective. California Psychological Inventory [CPI]) and type of performance criteria that were used (subjective vs. In sum.Varela et al. but the small number of law enforcement studies included in these meta-analyses precludes strong predictions.24 (conscientiousness).13 (extraversion). training vs.09 (agreeableness). First. Hilson Research.sagepub. With respect to performance criteria. Barrick & Mount. respectively). has not been subjected to peer review. Tett et al. Inwald. subjective and objective criteria were predicted equally well (. she concluded that prediction was stronger for CPI scales (17 of 22 mean validity coefficients were significantly different from 0) compared to MMPI scales (1 of 13 mean validity coefficients was significantly different from 0)..com at University of Bucharest on August 5. she found similar effect sizes for the MMPI (. respectively). it is likely that her effect sizes are inflated. 1982).19 and . Under these circumstances (k = 10). to our knowledge. 1997. she examined the predictive validity of individual test scales. (1994) found that correlations between personality measures and job performance indices were significantly larger in published studies compared to unpublished studies. Salgado. Second. Inc. O’Brien included only published findings in her meta-analysis. O’Brien’s meta-analysis has not been published and. 2014 . there are several reasons why further integration of this literature is needed. According to the publisher of the IPI.654 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR tion of personality test data (sometimes accompanied by clinical interview data) were used to predict performance. The current study is designed to extend what is known about the relation between personality test scores and law enforcement officer job performance by examining Downloaded from cjb. because journals tend to publish studies with significant findings. Tett et al. 1991. & Shushman. O’Brien’s comparison of personality tests did not include the Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI. as were training criteria and actual job performance criteria (. Although previous meta-analyses have included law enforcement samples (e.20 and . the number of samples included were small given the size of the law enforcement officer performance research literature.g. As a result. PURPOSE OF THE CURRENT META-ANALYSIS This article reports the results of a meta-analytic review of the validity of personality testing in law enforcement settings. Finally. Second. 1994).46) and the CPI (.25.27. (2000-2001). Based on the pattern of her results. Knatz.. Indeed. their instrument is used by more than 30% of the nation’s state police departments. a measure specifically designed for screening law enforcement applicants. First.32). Despite the existence of the O’Brien (1996) meta-analysis. Third. Dierdre Hiatt. including Robin Inwald (Hilson Research). Curt Bartol. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 655 effects from a substantially larger number of law enforcement samples (both published and unpublished) compared to previous metaanalyses. CPI. sample characteristics. Fifth. We report effects for the overall validity of personality tests in this setting and examine the impact of several moderator variables. Journal of Police Science and Administration. Several methods were used to identify relevant studies. and unpublished reports from practitioners and test publishers. and requests for data were submitted to the Internet discussion forums of the International Association of Chiefs of Police–Psychological Services Section and Division 41 of the American Psychological Association (American Psychology– Law Society). METHOD CASE SELECTION Data for this study were retrieved from scholarly journals. Law and Human Behavior. Second.Varela et al. Behavioral Sciences and the Law. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. reference lists of already identified sources were reviewed. theses. leading researchers in the field were contacted. Stanley Azen. Personnel Psychology. First. Fourth. and Mark Axelberd. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. 2014 .com at University of Bucharest on August 5. George Hargrave. Using these methods. Larry Beutler. including predictor type (MMPI. books. Robert Hogan (Hogan Assessment Systems). conference presentations. and publication status (published vs. Dissertation Abstracts International. Criminal Justice and Behavior. approximately 175 studies containing personality data were identified. unpublished findings). a request for data was placed in the American Psychological Association Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) newsletter. Downloaded from cjb. IPI).sagepub. all volumes of the following journals were hand searched: Journal of Applied Psychology. and Journal of Personality Assessment. searches of PsycInfo. and the National Criminal Justice Research Service were conducted to identify all references to personality assessment in law enforcement settings. study design characteristics. dissertations. Officer characteristics. correctional. dissertations. Many of the originally identified data sets were excluded because they did not compare personality data to job performance (e. absenteeism. DATA CODING Coders were used to extract relevant data and study design information from the identified studies. whereas others came from theses or dissertations (k = 27). (b) studies linking personality test data with job performance. and test manuals (k = 2). government security. government reports (k = 4).. Data were coded as being published if they were obtained from journal articles. Almost half of the usable data sets came from journal articles (k = 36)2. including the names of personality tests and scales that were used. 2014 .g.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. The following inclusionary criteria were used: (a) studies using police. peer ratings) indices of performance.656 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR Inclusionary and exclusionary criteria were established to identify data that were appropriate for the current meta-analysis..g. researchers (k = 3). Of the initial 175 data sets that were identified. Coders were asked to identify data that were appropriate for inclusion in the meta-analysis and to report the number and type or types of statistical analyses used in each study. Others were excluded because they only reported data for multiple-predictor analyses or because the “personality” tests used were actually measures of cognitive ability or vocational interest. test manuals. tardiness.g. multiple regression).. 78 met the study criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Measures of offi- Downloaded from cjb. and (d) studies using either objective (e. or other law enforcement personnel. and unpublished if they were obtained from theses. books or book chapters (k = 2). These studies ranged in date from 1950 to 1999. and (b) studies failing to report data necessary for the computation of effect sizes. reported personality data only). such as the average age and educational level of the sample. Job performance predictors were identified. (c) studies using either training performance data or job performance data. or researchers.sagepub. supervisor ratings.g. citizen complaints) or subjective (e. conference presentations (k = 4). conference presentations. the following exclusionary criteria were used: (a) studies reporting only the results of multiple-predictor analyses (e. or government reports. In addition. books or book chapters. were coded.. After the second training session. modifications to the IEERR were made to accommodate the nature of the literature under review. For this study. Discrepancies about the proper coding of study design characteristics were resolved Downloaded from cjb. CODER AGREEMENT Each study was reviewed and coded by two coders. The amount of time that elapsed between personality testing and collection of performance data (measurement interval) was recorded. or did they select personality measures without a clear rationale for expecting significant results (exploratory design)? The quality of each study was rated using a modified version of the Instrument for Evaluating Experimental Research Reports (IEERR) (Suydam. The IEERR was developed for rating the quality of studies comparing the effectiveness of different educational programs.Varela et al. each of the five coders was given a practice set of studies to code. Performance criteria were also identified as reflecting either training performance or on-the-job performance. days of work missed) or subjective (supervisor or peer ratings).com at University of Bucharest on August 5. Finally. complaints. A second training session was then conducted to clarify questions about the coding manual and data collection forms. After the initial training was completed. suspensions.sagepub. the design of each study was classified on each of the following characteristics: (a) Were the personality tests administered and used as part of the hiring process (screening) or as part of a research project only (analogue)? (b) Were the personality tests used to predict future job performance (predictive design) or were they administered to incumbent officers to examine the relation between personality dimensions and current performance (concurrent design)? (c) Did the authors select tests and/or test subscales based on a priori hypotheses about the relations between specific personality measures and performance indices (confirmatory design). the coders collected the data used in the meta-analysis. Coders initially received 2 hours of training and instruction concerning the proper use of the coding manual and data collection forms. 1968). 2014 . / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 657 cer performance were identified and coded as either objective (reprimands.3 Items on the IEERR are summed to provide a single study quality rating for each study. t. STATISTICAL CONVERSIONS AND CORRECTIONS Tests of significance were converted to r for use as a common effect size using computational formulas provided by Wolf (1986) and Rosenthal (1994).g. In cases where only means and standard deviations were reported. we used absolute values of correlations without correcting for upward bias.658 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR through critical discussion. When more than one reliability estimate was located for a Downloaded from cjb. The coders’ ratings of study quality on the IEERR were found to be consistent (r = . Although these corrections typically increase the size of correlation coefficients. 1994).sagepub. and study authors. Jackson.89). absolute values of correlation coefficients were used. An important consideration in the aggregation of correlational data is the sign of the reported coefficients. and subsequent analyses examining study quality were completed using the average rating for each study. 2014 .g. and Reddon (1999) have noted that the use of absolute values leads to an upward bias in mean validity coefficients. 1994). Tett.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. published reliability studies. bias of –. irrespective of directionality. For each variable examined in this meta-analytic review. r values were estimated by first generating test statistics (e.15 and N ≥ 100). these authors have also reported that the amount of upward bias is minimal when sample sizes and the value of rho are large (e. they are undertaken to provide estimates of outcome values if the studies had been conducted without methodological flaws (Hunter & Schmidt. Because the purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of the effect sizes associated with prediction of job performance.. attenuation or enhancement due to range restriction. Rothstein. However. Given such a small estimated bias in findings. The first correction made to the observed correlations was for attenuation due to unreliability of predictor variables (Hunter & Schmidt. Reliability estimates for predictor variables were obtained from test manuals. Correlations were corrected for three types of study artifacts: attenuation due to unreliability of measures. F) and then converting these values to r. observed (uncorrected) and corrected validity coefficients were calculated. and attenuation due to dichotomization of outcome variables (discontinuity).01 when ρ = .. Estimates of population standard deviation were found in test manuals. 2014 . When the standard deviation of a sample differs from the population standard deviation. each of the three attenuating or enhancing factors is independent. the largest estimate was used because it led to the smallest amount of correction. the observed correlation is inflated. conversely. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 659 particular test scale. Correction for range departure could only be completed for studies that reported sample standard deviations. Test scales for which no reliability data were available were left uncorrected.com at University of Bucharest on August 5.sagepub. observed correlations were corrected for range departure using the procedures recommended by Hunter and Schmidt (1994).Varela et al.222.954 correlations. The last correction made to observed single predictor correlations was for attenuation due to dichotomization of performance variables. when the sample standard deviation is larger than the population standard deviation. When the standard deviation of the sample is smaller than the population standard deviation. Prior to within-study aggregation. the observed correlation is attenuated. The correction formula recommended by Hunter and Schmidt (1994) was applied to studies reporting dichotomous variables. Thus. handbooks. Range restriction is common in personnel selection settings because the sample under investigation has typically passed an initial screening and represents a small proportion of all applicants. In the current metaanalysis. observed correlations were corrected for more than one factor when applicable using the procedures recommended by Hunter and Schmidt. WITHIN-STUDY AGGREGATION The number of validity coefficients reported in individual studies ranged from 1 to 1. The second correction made to observed correlations was for attenuation or enhancement due to range departure of predictor variables. the observed correlation is distorted. Validity coefficients were aggregated within studies so that findings would not be unduly Downloaded from cjb. the metaanalytic data set consisted of 3. and published research. and. According to the Hunter and Schmidt (1994) model of meta-analysis. The crucial determinant of the magnitude of this correction is the ratio of the sample standard deviation to the population standard deviation. such as study design characteristics or differences in the characteristics of the samples being studied. validity coefficients were aggregated according to categorical moderator variables of interest. For example. In these situations. The effects of the following categorical moderator variables were examined (see Data Coding section above for variable descriptions): predictor type (MMPI vs. it is not situationally specific. This test is conducted to determine if the observed mean correlation generalizes across samples. If we had simply computed a single mean across all of the findings in each study. TESTING THE SITUATIONAL SPECIFICITY HYPOTHESIS The variance of a population correlation is used to test the situational specificity hypothesis.” This rule states that when less than 75% of the population correlation variance is accounted for by sampling error variance. screening vs. training vs. 1990). predictive. The amount of variance explained by sampling error is calculated by dividing the sampling error of the population correlation by the Downloaded from cjb. 1990). incumbent). A common way of evaluating the situational specificity hypothesis is to use the “three-fourths rule. This aggregation procedure was used so that the influence of moderator variables could be examined in the metaanalysis. objective. nature of outcome measure (subjective vs. aggregating across these criteria would make it impossible to examine differences in the prediction of subjective and objective performance criteria. CPI vs. the variance not accounted for by sampling error may be attributable to systematic sources.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. if a study used both turnover and supervisor ratings as performance criteria. exploratory. concurrent vs. 2014 . the influence of moderator variables would have been lost in the aggregation.660 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR influenced by studies reporting numerous findings. unpublished). Specifically. and data source (published vs.sagepub. study design (confirmatory vs. If the observed mean correlation generalizes across samples. IPI). analogue). Sample-weighted means were also used to compute the average sampling error estimates (Hunter & Schmidt. the role of moderator variables should be examined (Hunter & Schmidt. Data aggregations within studies were made using sample-weighted means so that coefficients based on larger samples were accorded greater weight in the aggregation. Sampling error estimates were not corrected for variance due to study artifacts.725 participants. FINAL DATA SET CHARACTERISTICS The meta-analyses reported in this article were conducted using validity coefficients from 78 studies with a combined total of 11. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 661 variance of the observed sample-weighted mean correlation. p. The mean sample-weighted correlation across all predictors and outcomes was . 1990. This value can exceed 100% because sampling error is estimated algebraically.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. After within-study aggregation. the meta-analytic data set contained 168 validity coefficients. The lower bound of the 95% confidence interval for the uncorrected coefficient was greater than 0.Varela et al. 437438). which increased to .218 when corrected for study artifacts (see Table 1. p. 2014 . indicating a statistically significant relation between personality tests scores and performance criteria. Sampling error was computed using the formula provided by Hunter and Schmidt (1990). RESULTS PREDICTIVE VALIDITY ACROSS ALL PREDICTOR AND OUTCOME VARIABLES Meta-analysis results for all samples and all categorical moderator subgroups are provided in Table 1. only 64% of the variance in the overall validity coefficient (uncor- Downloaded from cjb. 1990. Uncorrected validity coefficients were used in all of the moderator analyses. DETECTION OF MODERATOR VARIABLES The influence of moderator variables was examined using Pearson correlations for continuous moderator variables and z-tests for categorical moderator variables (see Hunter & Schmidt. However. 156).134. 1990). This approach has been referred to as a “bare-bones meta-analysis” (Hunter & Schmidt. row 1).sagepub. whereas the variance associated with each mean correlation is determined from the observed effect sizes (Hunter & Schmidt. 155 . Var.110 .129 .007 . (r) Due to Samp.049 2.e 65 67 68 66 89 49 100 59 100 100 52 64 % Var.199 .77 2. Errorf TABLE 1: Meta-Analysis Results for All Samples and Categorical Moderators .239 .006 . NWtd.820 9.217 . 2014 k a 78 13 11 41 18 72 53 41 59 21 49 30 Moderator All samples CPI IPI MMPI Training Performance Subjective Objective Predictive Concurrent Screening Analogue 8.020 .006 .006 .008 .096 .106 .012 . r .226 .j .sagepub.004 .206 .23* .228 .169 .135 .009 .112 .090 .010 .009 .157 .168 3.218 Corr. ri 1.148 .141 .134 .537 6.013 .118 .157 Upper CI (95%)h .231 .176 .120 .128 .011 Obs.37 k z-Score Diff.115 .192 .013 .009 .661 5.124 .216 .008 .148 .18 1. Error Var.122 Lower CI (95%)g .725 b N .940 11.150 .005 .196 .007 Samp.134 c N-Wtd.006 .138 .006 .013 .100 .001 .130 .108 .115 3.181 .100 . (r)d .009 .com at University of Bucharest on August 5.143 .125 .962 7.213 .616 10.188 .162 .118 .185 1.747 2.006 .251 .662 Downloaded from cjb. Exploratory Confirmatory Unpublished Published .012 . 2014 64 15 34 44 10.203 6. CPI = California Psychological Inventory. j. Upper limit of 95% confidence interval around the observed sample-weighted mean correlation.132 . Sampling error variance.007 . Observed sample-weighted mean correlation.447 5.149 .161 .148 .03 Note. Variance in the observed correlations.com at University of Bucharest on August 5.112 . Lower limit of 95% confidence interval (CI) around the observed sample-weighted mean correlation.224 .013 .149 .116 . k.007 . h.009 . See Table 2 for significance tests comparing the MMPI. Significance test of the difference between uncorrected validity coefficient for the variable in this row and the row directly above it using a z score. MMPI = Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.05. g.121 .133 .663 Downloaded from cjb. and IPI. Number of individual participants contributing data to the given aggregation.245 1.009 .121 . Proportion of variance in the observed correlations due to sampling error. Number of studies providing data to the given aggregation. b. e. c.522 . Corrected sample-weighted mean correlation (measurement error.007 63 68 59 75 . two-tailed.sagepub. IPI = Inwald Personality Inventory. a.177 . i.075 . CPI.010 .145 . discontinuity). range restriction.373 1.57 .182 . d. *p < . f. Moderator analyses indicated two statistically significant differences. CATEGORICAL MODERATORS Results for the categorical moderator subgroup analyses are provided in Table 1. and MMPI reported in Table 1. *p < .10). indicating statistically significant relations between personality measures and performance for each subgroup. and Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI) Instrument CPI MMPI IPI 1. Validity coefficients are provided in Table 1. The lower bound values of the 95% confidence intervals were greater than 0 for the uncorrected validity coefficients for all of the subgroups. A positive z-score indicates that the column variable had a higher validity coefficient than the row variable. Sampling error accounted for at least 75% of the variance of the uncorrected correlations for only 5 of the 15 groupings.77 2. rected) was accounted for by sampling error. whereas the difference between the CPI and MMPI was nearly large enough to achieve statistical significance (Z = 1. suggesting that other variables may be moderating these effects.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. suggesting that other variables may be moderating the relation between personality test scores and law enforcement officer performance. prediction was strongest for the CPI and lower for both the IPI and MMPI (see Table 2). A negative z-score indicates that the row variable had a higher validity coefficient than the column variable. California Psychological Inventory (CPI).44 Note.77. Downloaded from cjb.664 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR TABLE 2: Fisher’s z Score Values for Comparisons of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). First. IPI. 2014 . Second. p < .05.sagepub. The difference in the mean correlations of the CPI and IPI was large enough to reach statistical significance.34* MMPI . Table 2 contains Z-score values for comparisons between the mean correlations of the CPI. correlations were larger for studies using concurrent as opposed to predictive designs (see Table 1). 283 . 1984. Amount of time in months elapsed between collection of personality and performance data. First. b. These findings are consistent with O’Brien’s (1996) Downloaded from cjb.145 . Schmitt et al. Despite the modest effect sizes observed in the meta-analysis and questions about the extent to which findings generalize across samples. 1991. Sampling error accounted for less than 75% of the variability in many of the mean correlations. suggesting that moderator variables not examined in this study moderate the relation between personality test scores and office performance (see Future Research section below). 1997.Varela et al.260 –. None of the continuous moderator correlations was large enough to reach statistical significance.com at University of Bucharest on August 5...099 –. p > . several noteworthy findings emerged from the moderator analyses.173 a. Salgado. Tett et al. DISCUSSION Findings from the current meta-analysis indicate that there is a modest but statistically significant relation between personality test data and law enforcement officer job performance. 2014 .05 for all correlations. 1994). / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 665 TABLE 3: Correlations Between the Overall Validity Coefficient and Continuous Moderator Variables Moderator K Average age Years of education a Measurement interval b Year of study Study quality 38 12 49 75 80 r . prediction was strongest for the CPI and weaker for the IPI and MMPI. CONTINUOUS MODERATORS Table 3 contains the sample-weighted correlations between continuous moderator variables and the observed overall validity coefficients. Unit of analysis was the 4-digit year.sagepub. The mean correlations observed in this meta-analysis are similar to those from previous meta-analyses of personality testing in employment settings (Barrick & Mount. For instance. interacting with community members. current psychological problems may not always affect future performance. Personality measures designed to detect pathological personality traits may be redundant when they are administered after the initial screening process. for the most part. the CPI may be a useful measure for predicting this important aspect of officer performance.sagepub.. In contrast. One reason for conducting Downloaded from cjb. 1995). One possible reason for the superior performance of the CPI in this setting is that the CPI is designed to be a measure of normal personality traits (Gough. In many law enforcement settings. Second. it makes sense that these problems would affect his or her current performance. If an officer is experiencing noticeable psychological problems. and maladaptive behavior. and supervisors). applicants must survive a rigorous initial screening process before they are asked to complete a personality measure. the CPI was designed to provide information about consistent styles of interpersonal behavior. which reduces the likelihood that measures of psychological functioning can be used to predict future job performance. background investigations. 2014 . Because being a successful police officer requires effective interpersonal skills (e. may be more useful in this context because they provide information that is not obtained during the initial screening process. Studies using a concurrent design examine the relation between personality test data and officer performance at the same point in time.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. criminal history investigations. there was no significant difference in mean effect sizes from published and unpublished studies. whereas studies using a predictive design attempt to link personality test data with future performance. personality measures that are designed to assess normal personality traits.g. However. in which it was found that 17 of 22 CPI scales were predictive of officer performance compared to only 1 of 13 MMPI scales. mean correlations were larger for studies using a concurrent design compared to those using a predictive design. deviant personality traits. The screening process often includes civil service testing.666 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR unpublished meta-analysis. such as the CPI. other officers. Most pathological job candidates are eliminated during this process. measures of psychopathology. and evaluative interviews. Finally. whereas the MMPI and IPI are. This finding suggests that personality measures are somewhat better at predicting current job performance than future job performance. Irrespective of the reasons why these unpublished studies were never published. Personality functioning is just one of these variables.. 1996. Because scholarly journals tend to publish studies with significant findings. the inclusion of so many unpublished studies in the current meta-analysis suggests that the effects reported here are not likely to be inflated due to the inclusion of only published research. the hiring process in law enforcement settings is lengthy and complex. 1997).sagepub. First.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. Indeed. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE Although effect sizes observed in this meta-analysis are modest. many of the 34 unpublished studies included in the meta-analysis did contain significant effects. One possible explanation for the lack of a significant difference in the current meta-analysis is that many of the unpublished studies may have gone unpublished for reasons other than significance of their findings. The current meta-analysis included data from both published and unpublished studies. Salgado. 1991. it is possible that they were never published because graduate students conducting the research were not interested in pursuing academic careers. Tett et al. (1994) found in their meta-analysis that correlations between personality measures and job performance indices were significantly larger in published studies. O’Brien.g. Because many of the unpublished studies were masters’ theses and doctoral dissertations. there are several reasons why it would be inappropriate at this point to conclude that personality measures should not be used in the law enforcement officer hiring process. Indeed. Each variable is intended to provide a unique piece of information about a job candidate that can be combined with other pieces of information to provide an estimate of the candidate’s suitability for hire. / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 667 this meta-analysis was that previous meta-analyses of personality testing in law enforcement settings have focused on data from published studies (e. Support for using this type of multifaceted approach comes from Downloaded from cjb. Barrick & Mount. 2014 . and job candidates are typically evaluated on a number of different psychological and medical variables.Varela et al. It is also possible that they may have been submitted for publication but were rejected because they did not provide enough new information to warrant publication. it is often expected that effects from unpublished studies will be smaller than those from published studies. Although caution should be used when interpreting the values in Table 4 because they have not been corrected for capitalization on chance. Second. FUTURE RESEARCH Findings from the current meta-analyses have implications for future research. the small overall predictive effects of personality measures may be salient in some specific cases. Scogin. It is likely that many personality test scales are not predictive of officer performance and that practitioners should only interpret the few scales that have a meaningful relation to officer performance.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. It would be inappropriate to make conclusions about the predictive validity of personality tests in law enforcement settings without considering the findings from these 41 studies.g. multiple regression. & Chaplin. Given the risks associated with allowing a dangerous officer to be hired. 1995). both at the meta-analytic and individual study levels.. We have identified 41 studies (published and unpublished) that have used multiple predictor analyses to predict law enforcement officer performance from personality test data. to fellow officers.668 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND BEHAVIOR research studies showing that predictive validity can be enhanced when different types of psychological and medical variables are used in combination to predict officer performance (e. Schumacher. Table 4 contains a stem and leaf plot of the effect sizes from the 128 multiple predictor analyses reported in these studies. Gardner. This argument is supported by findings from studies in which researchers have been able to use multiple-predictor analyses (e.. the purpose of using personality measures in the law enforcement officer hiring process is to reduce the likelihood that a dangerous officer will be hired. they clearly show that prediction of officer performance can be quite good when an optimally weighted subset of personality scales is used. Dangerous officers can be harmful to members of the public. it should not be expected that every personality test scale can predict officer performance. 2014 .sagepub. At the meta-analytic level.g. Finally. the existing research literature can be used Downloaded from cjb. discriminant function analysis) to identify optimally weighted combinations of personality test scales that can be used to successfully predict officer performance. and to the public’s trust in law enforcement agencies. Varela et al. future individual studies should examine the predictive validity of other existing measures of normative personality traits. to examine the validity of individual personality tests scales. Salgado. 2014 .1 . Personality Assessment Inventory. such as the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire.3 . Barrick & Mount.6 . / PERSONALITY TESTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT 669 TABLE 4: Stem and Leaf Diagram of Effect Sizes From Multiple-Predictor Analyses Examining the Relation Between Personality Measures and Officer Performance 5 12 13 18 9 15 10 12 8 5 6 5 4 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 1 .8 .0 : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 02344 555677778999 0000012344444 555566666677777888 122224444 556677778889999 0000013334 566667778899 00112334 55559 111122 55667 0001 6 02 7 3 0 Note.1 .7 .2 .sagepub.9 1.4 . Diagram includes 128 coefficients from 41 studies (published and unpublished).3 . A list of these studies is available from the first author (JGV).9 . such as those of the five-factor model.7 . There currently are an insufficient num- Downloaded from cjb. and NEO Personality Inventory..2 . in predicting specific components of law enforcement office performance (e. 1997).0 .g.0 .6 . Moreover.8 . 1991.5 .5 . Coefficients are multiple correlations (R) from regression analyses and phi coefficients calculated from discriminant function analysis classification tables. given the relatively superior performance of the CPI. there may be individual test scales that are more strongly associated with officer performance.4 . Although we found that the overall validity coefficients associated with personality measures were modest.com at University of Bucharest on August 5. Finally. the existing research literature can be used to examine the predictive validity of specific personality traits. NOTES 1. J.. R. H. Mann. Journal of Police Science and Administration. & Froemel. E. K. Data from some samples were reported in multiple journal articles. (1991). P. M. 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