Log in / Register
Home arrow Psychology arrow The Wiley Blackwell handbook of the psychology of recruitment, selection and employee retention


Score difference between groups has been and will continue to be of great interest to researchers and practitioners working in the field of personnel assessment and selection (Goldstein et al., 2009; Hough, Oswald & Ployhart, 2001; Ployhart & Holtz, 2008). This chapter has summarized current research on differences between racial/ethnic groups and national cultural groups on predictors frequently used in employee selection. Current literature, while limited for all group comparisons except African-Americans and Whites, indicates that there are differences which vary as both a function and feature of the predictor. At this point, there are as many answered questions as unanswered questions. Additional empirical work documenting both the work and theoretical work explaining these differences are clearly needed.


Agnello, P., Ryan, R., & Yusko, K. P. (2015). Implications of modern intelligence research for assessing intelligence in the workplace. Human Resource Management Review, 25(1), 47-55. Aiken, J. R., Salmon, E. D., & Hanges, P. J. (2013). The origins and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Business & Psychology, 28(4), 383-399. doi: 10.1007/s10869-013-9291-z.

Alcoff, L. M. N. (2003). Latino/as, Asian Americans, and the Black-White binary. The Journal of Ethics, 7, 5-27.

Arthur, W., Jr., & Villado, A. J. (2008). The importance of distinguishing between constructs and methods when comparing predictors in personnel selection research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 435-442. doi: 10.1037/0021 9010.93.2.435.

Becton, B. J., Matthews, M. C., Hartley, D. L., & Whitaker, D. H. (2009). Using biodata to predict turnover, organizational commitment, and job performance in healthcare. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 17(2), 189-202. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2389.2009.00462.x.

Berry, C. M., Sackett, P. R., & Wiemann, S. (2007). A review of recent developments in integrity test research. Personnel Psychology, 60(2), 271-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00074.x.

Binning, J. F., & Barrett, G. V. (1989). Validity of personnel decisions: A conceptual analysis of the inferential and evidential bases. JournalofApplied Psychology, 74(3), 478-494. doi: 10.1037/0021- 9010.74.3.478.

Bobko, P., & Roth, P. L. (2013). Reviewing, categorizing, and analyzing the literature on Black- White mean differences for predictors of job performance: Verifying some perceptions and updating/correcting others. Personnel Psychology, 66(1), 91-126. doi: 10.1111/peps.12007.

Bobko, P., Roth, P. L., & Potosky, D. (1999). Derivation and implications of a meta-analytic matrix incorporating cognitive ability, alternative predictors, and job performance. Personnel Psychology, 52(3), 561-589. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00172.x.

Brouwers, S. A., & van de Vijver, F. J. (2015). Contextualizing intelligence in assessment: The next step. Human Resource Management Review, 25(1), 38-46.

Byrne, B., Oakland, T., Leong, F., van de Vijver, F., Hambleton, R., Cheung, F. M., & Bartram, D. (2009). A critical analysis of cross-cultural research and testing practices: Implications for improved education and training in psychology. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 3(2), 94-105.

Chen, J., & Gardner, H. (2005). Assessment based on multiple-intelligence theory. In D. P. Flanagan & P. L. Harrison (Eds.), Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, Tests, and Issues (2nd ed., pp. 77-102). New York: Guilford Press.

Choi, K. H., Sakamoto, A., & Powers, D. (2008). Who is Hispanic? Hispanic identity among African Americans, Asian Americans, others, and Whites. Sociological Inquiry, 78, 335-371.

Cottrell, J. M., Newman, D. A., & Roisman, G. I. (2015). Explaining the Black-White gap in cognitive test scores: Toward a theory of adverse impact. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(6), 1713-1736. doi: 10.1037/apl0000020.

Dean, M. A., Roth, P. L., & Bobko, P. (2008). Ethnic and gender subgroup differences in assessment center ratings: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(3), 685-691. doi: 10.1037/ 0021-9010.93.3.685.

Dudley, N. M., McFarland, L. A., Goodman, S. A., Hunt, S. T., & Sydell, E. J. (2005). Racial differences in socially desirable responding in selection contexts: Magnitude and consequences. Journal of Personality Assessment, 85, 50-64.

Dovidio, J. F., Gluszek, A., John, M.S., Ditlmann, R., & Lagunes, P. (2010). Understanding bias toward Latinos: Discrimination, dimensions of difference, and experience of exclusion. Journal of Social Issues, 66, 59-78.

Embretson, S. (1983). Construct validity: Construct representation versus nomothetic span. Psychological Bulletin, 93, 179-197.

Ennis, S. R., Rios-Vargas, M., & Albert, N. G. (2011). The Hispanic Population: 2010. www.census. gov/grod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf.

Erez, M., & Earley, P. C. (1993). Culture, Self-identity, and Work. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fagan, J., & Holland, C. (2002). Equal opportunity and racial differences in IQ. Intelligence, 30(4), 361-387. doi: 10.1016/S0160-2896(02)00080-6.

Fagan, J., & Holland, C. (2007). Racial equality in intelligence: Predictions from a theory of intelligence as processing. Intelligence, 35(4), 319-334. doi: 10.1016/j.intell.2006.08.009.

Fagan, J. F., & Holland, C. R. (2009). Culture-fair prediction of academic achievement. Intelligence, 37(1), 62-67.

Foldes, H. J., Duehr, E. E., & Ones, D. S. (2008). Group differences in personality: Meta-analyses comparing five U.S. racial groups. Personnel Psychology, 61(3), 579-616. doi: 10.1111/j.1744- 6570.2008.00123.x.

Freedle, R (2003). Correcting the SAT’s ethnic and social-class bias: A method for reestimating SAT scores. Harvard Educational Review, 73, 1-42.

Freedle, R., & Kostin, I. (1997). Predicting Black and White differential item functioning in verbal analogy performance. Intelligence, 24(3), 417-444. doi: 10.1016/S0160-2896(97)90058-1.

Goldstein, H. W., Scherbaum, C. A., & Yusko, K. (2009). Adverse impact and measuring cognitive ability. In J. Outtz (Ed.) Adverse Impact: Implications for Organizational Staffing and High Stakes Testing (pp. 95-134). New York: Psychology Press.

Gandy, J. A., Dye, D. A., & MacLane, C. N. (1994). Federal government selection: The individual achievement record.

Griggs v Duke Power Co. 401 U.S. 424 (1971).

Helms, J. E. (1992). Why is there no study of cultural equivalence in standardized cognitive ability testing? American Psychologist, 47(9), 1083.

Helms-Lorenz, M., van de Vijver, F., & Poortinga, Y. (2003). Cross-cultural differences in cognitive performance and Spearman’s hypothesis: g or c? Intelligence, 31, 9-29.

Herrnstein, R. J., & Murray, C. (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press.

Hough, L. M., Oswald, F. L., & Ployhart, R. E. (2001). Determinants, detection and amelioration of adverse impact in personnel selection procedures: Issues, evidence and lessons learned. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9(1-2), 152-194. doi: 10.1111/1468- 2389.00171.

House, R. J., & Javidan, M. (2004). Overview of GLOBE. In R. J. House, P. J. Hanges, M. Javidan, P. W. Dorfman, & V. Gupta (Eds.), Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies (pp. 9-26). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Huffcutt, A. I., & Roth, P. L. (1998). Racial group differences in employment interview evaluations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 179-189. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.83.2.179.

Huffcutt, A. I., Conway, J. M., Roth, P. L., & Stone, N. J. (2001). Identification and meta-analytic assessment of psychological constructs measured in employment interviews. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 897-913. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.86.5.897.

Hunter, J. E., & Hunter, R. F. (1984). Validity and utility of alternative predictors ofjob performance. Psychological Bulletin, 96(1), 72-98. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.96.1.72.

Irvine, S., & Kyllonen, P. (2002). Generating Items from Cognitive Tests: Theory and Practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Jensen, A. R. (1985). The nature of the Black-White difference on various psychometric tests: Spearman’s hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8(2), 193-263. doi: 10.1017/ S0140525X00020392.

Jensen, A. R. (1998). The g factor: The science of mental ability.

Jensen, A. R. (2000). The dilemma of group differences. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 6(1), 121-127. doi: 10.1037//1076-8971.6.1.121.

Landy, F. J. (1986). Stamp collecting versus science: Validation as hypothesis testing. American Psychologist, 41(11), 1183-1192. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.41.11.1183.

Lievens, F., & Sackett, P. (2007). Situational judgment in tests in high-stakes settings: Issues and strategies with generating alternate forms. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1043-1055.

London House. (1995). Personnel selection inventory: PSI-CS with math. Rosemont, IL: McGraw- Hill/London House.

Malda, M., van de Vijver, F., & Temane, M. (2010). Rugby versus soccer in South Africa: Content familiarity explains most cross-cultural differences in cognitive test scores. Intelligence, 38, 582-595.

McCrae, R., & Costa, P. (1997). Personality trait structure as a human universal. American Psychologist, 52(5), 509-516.

Messick, S. (1995). Validity of psychological assessment: validation of inferences from persons’ responses and performances as scientific inquiry into score meaning. American Psychologist, 50(9), 741.

Neisser, U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T., Boykin, A., Brody, N., Ceci, S., Halpern, D., Loehlin, J. C., Perloff, R., Sternberg, R., & Urbina, S. (1996). Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns. American Psychologist, 51, 77-101.

Nisbett, R. E., Aronson, J., Blair, C., Dickens, W., Flynn, J., Halpern, D. F., & Turkheimer, E. (2012). Intelligence: New findings and theoretical developments. American Psychologist, 67(2), 120-159. doi: 10.1037/a0026699.

Ones, D. S., & Viswesvaran, C. (1998). Integrity testing in organzations. In R. W. Griffin, A. O’Leary-Kelly & J. M. Collins (Eds.), Dysfuntional Behavior in Organizations: Vol. 2, Nonviolent Behaviors in Organizations. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Ortiz, S. O., Ochoa, S. H., & Dynda, A. M. (2012). Testing with culturally and linguistically diverse populations: Moving beyond the verbal-performance dichotomy into evidence-based practice. In D. P. Flanagan & P. L. Harrison (Eds.), Contemporary Intellectual Assessment: Theories, Tests, and Issues (3rd ed, pp. 526-552). New York: Guilford Press.

Ployhart, R. E., & Holtz, B. C. (2008). The diversity-validity dilemma: Strategies for reducing racio- ethnic and sex subgroup differences and adverse impact in selection. Personnel Psychology, 61(1), 153-172. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2008.00109.x.

Potosky, D., Bobko, P., & Roth, P. L. (2005). Forming composites of cognitive ability and alternative measures to predict job performance and reduce adverse impact: Corrected estimates and realistic expectations. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 13(4), 304-315. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2389.2005.00327.x.

Pulakos, E. D. & Schmitt, N. (1996). An evaluation of two strategies for reducing adverse impact and their effects on criterion-related validity. Human Performance, 9(3), 241-258.

Reynolds, C. R., Willson, V. L., & Ramsey, M. (1999). Intellectual differences among Mexican Americans, Papagos and Whites, independent of g. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 1181-1187.

Roth, P. L., Bevier, C. A., Bobko, P., Switzer, F. S., & Tyler, P. (2001). Ethnic group differences in cognitive ability in employment and educational settings: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 54(2), 297-330. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2001.tb00094.x.

Roth, P. L., Bobko, P., McFarland, L., & Buster, M. (2008). Work sample tests in personnel selection: A meta-analysis of Black-White differences in overall and exercise scores. Personnel Psychology, 61(3), 637-662. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.2008.00125.x.

Roth, P. L., van Iddekinge, C. H., Huffcutt, A. I., Eidson, C. E., Jr., & Bobko, P. (2002). Corrections for range restriction in structured interview ethnic group differences: The values may be larger than researchers thought. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(2), 369-376. doi: 10.1037/0021- 9010.87.2.369.

Ryan, A. M., & Tippins, N. (2009). Designing and Implementing Global Selection Systems. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Scherbaum, C. Goldstein, H., Ryan, R., Agnello, P., Yusko, K., & Hanges, P. (2015). New developments in intelligence theory and assessment: Implications for personnel selection. In J. Oostrom & I. Nikolaou (Eds.), Employee Recruitment, Selection, and Assessment: Contemporary Issues for Theory and Practice. Hove: Taylor & Francis and New York: Psychology Press.

Schmitt, N., Clause, C. S., & Pulakos, E. D. (1996). Subgroup differences associated with different measures of some common job relevant constructs. In C. L. Cooper & I. T. Robertson (Eds.), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (pp. 115-139). New York: Wiley.

Schmitt, N., & Kunce, C. (2002). The effects of required elaboration of answers to biodata questions. Personnel Psychology, 55(3), 569-587.

Spearman, C. (1927). The Abilities of Man, Their Nature and Measurement. New York: Macmillan.

Sternberg, R. (1981a). Intelligence and non-entrenchment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 1-16.

Sternberg, R. (1981b). Testing and cognitive psychology. American Psychologist, 36, 1181-1189.

Sternberg, R. (1982a). Nonentrenchment in the assessment of intellectual giftedness. Gifted Child Quarterly, 26, 63-67.

Sternberg, R. (1982b). Natural, unnatural, and supernatural concepts. Cognitive Psychology, 14, 451-488.

Sternberg, R. (2006). The Rainbow Project: Enhancing the SAT through assessments of analytical, practical, and creative skills. Intelligence, 34, 321-350.

Sternberg, R., & Gastel, J. (1989). If dancers ate their shoes: Inductive reasoning with factual and counterfactual premises. Memory and Cognition, 17, 1-10.

te Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (1997). Comparability of GATB scores for immigrants and majority group members: Some Dutch findings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 675-687.

te Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (1999). Bias research in the Netherlands: Review and implications. European Journal of Psychological Assessments, 15(2), 165-175.

te Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (2001). Group differences in mean intelligence for the Dutch and third world immigrants. Journal of Biosocial Science, 33(3), 469-475.

te Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (2003). Immigrant-majority group differences in cognitive performance: Jensen effects, cultural effects, or both? Intelligence, 31, 443-459.

te Nijenhuis, J., & van der Flier, H. (2005). Immigrant-majority group differences on work-related measures: The case for cognitive complexity. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1213-1221.

te Nijenhuis, J., de Jong, M. J., Evers, A., & van der Flier, H. (2004). Are cognitive differences between immigrant and majority groups diminishing? European Journal of Personality, 18(5), 405-434.

te Nijenhuis, J., van der Flier, H., & van Leeuwen, L. (1997). Comparability of personality test scores for immigrants and majority group members: Some Dutch findings. Personality and Individual Differences, 23, 849-859.

te Nijenhuis, J., van der Flier, H., & van Leeuwen, L. (2003). The use of a test of neuroticism, extraversion, and rigidity for Dutch immigrant job applicants. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 52, 630-647.

te Nijenhuis, J., Willigers, D., Dragt, J., & van der Flier, H. (2016). The effects of language bias and cultural bias estimated using the method of correlated vectors on a large database of IQ comparisons between native Dutch and ethnic minority immigrants from non-Western countries. Intelligence, 54, 117-135.

Tetewsky, S., & Sternberg, R. (1986). Conceptual and lexical determinants of nonentrenched thinking. Journal of Memory and Language, 25, 202-225.

Triandis, H. C. (1994). Cross-cultural industrial and organizational psychology. In H. C. Triandis, M. D. Dunnette, & L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (vol. 4, pp. 103-172). Palto Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

Triandis, H. C., & Suh, E. M. (2002). Cultural influences on personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1), 133-160.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2014). QuickFacts. 00#headnote-js-a. Last accessed 10 February 2016.

Valentin Kvist, A. (2011). Interpretation of cognitive test scores in relation to Swedish and immigrant groups. Nordic Psychology, 63, 51-71.

Valentin Kvist, A., & Gustafsson, J.-E. (2008). The relation between fluid intelligence and the general factor as a function of cultural background: A test of Cattell’s investment theory. Intelligence, 36, 422-436.

van Iddekinge, C. H., Taylor, M. A., & Eidson, C. E., (2005). Broad versus narrow facets of integrity: Predictive validity and subgroup differences. Human Performance, 18(2), 151-177. doi: 10.1207/s15327043hup1802_3.

van Leest, P. F., & Bleichrodt, N. (1990). Testing of college graduates from ethnic minority groups. In N. Bleichrodt & P. J. D. Drenth (Eds.), Contemporary Issues in Cross-Cultural Psychology: Selected Papers from a Regional Conference of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Amsterdam: The Netherlands.

van de Vijver, F. (1997). Meta-analysis of cross-cultural comparisons of cognitive test performance. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 28, 678-709.

van de Vijver, F. (2008). On the meaning of cross-cultural differences in simple cognitive measures. Educational Research and Evaluation, 14(3), 215-234.

Verney, S. P., Granholm, E., Marshall, S. P., Malcarne, V. L., & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2005). Culture-fair cognitive ability assessment: Information processing and psychophysiological approaches. Assessment, 12, 303-319.

Whetzel, D. L., McDaniel, M. A., & Nguyen, N. T. (2008). Subgroup differences in situational judgment test performance: A meta-analysis. Human Performance, 21(3), 291-309. doi: 10.1080/08959280802137820.

Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >
Business & Finance
Computer Science
Language & Literature
Political science