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Task differences as moderators of aptitude test validity in selection: A red herring.


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• Two studies, with a total sample size of 400,000 Ss and with the US Department of Labor's Dictionary of Occupational Job Titles (1977), examined the traditional belief that between-job task differences cause aptitude tests to be valid for some jobs but not for others. Results indicate that aptitude tests are valid across jobs, since the moderating effect of tasks(a) is negligible even when jobs differ grossly in task makeup and (b) is probably nonexistent when task differences are less extreme. Findings have implications for validity generalization, the use of task-oriented job analysis in selection research, criterion construction, moderator research, and proper interpretation of the US's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. It is concluded that the belief that tasks are important moderators of test validities can be traced to behaviorist assumptions introduced into personnel psychology in the early 1960's and that, in retrospect, these assumptions are false. (44 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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