GROUP DIFFERENCES IN COGNITIVE ABILITY AND PERSONALITY ACROSS JOB LEVELS

Open Access
Author:
Himelright, Jodi Lee
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
June 14, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Rick R Jacobs, Dissertation Advisor
  • Rick R Jacobs, Committee Chair
  • Samuel Todd Hunter, Committee Member
  • Kisha Shannon Jones, Committee Member
  • John W. O'Neill, Outside Member
  • James L Farr, Committee Chair
Keywords:
  • cognitive ability
  • personality
  • adverse impact
  • group differences
Abstract:
Understanding the magnitude of group differences in selection predictors is an important step toward reducing adverse impact. While much research has been conducted to estimate these differences for cognitive ability and personality measures, there are few investigations into whether the magnitude of these differences varies across job levels in organizations. In the current study, a sample of job applicants representing a variety of industries and job functions were examined for the extent of racial, gender, and age differences across three hierarchical job levels (executive/senior managers, mid-level managers, first-line managers) and professionals. Results for both cognitive ability and personality indicated these differences did not decline appreciably from the lowest to the highest job levels. The implications of these findings and future directions for group differences and selection research are discussed.