The Search for Predictors With High Validity and Low Adverse Impact: Compatible or Incompatible Goals?

Scott E. Maxwell, Richard D. Arvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many researchers and personnel selection specialists appear to believe that validity must often be sacrificed to reduce adverse impact. This belief may be bolstered by an interpretation of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1978) that alternative selection methods should be sought in an effort to reduce adverse impact as long as the accompanying reduction in validity is not too large. The authors show that, contrary to popular belief, within the universe of fair tests (as defined by T.A. Cleary, 1968), the most valid selection method will necessarily produce the least adverse impact. Although a less valid selection method can have less adverse impact than the most valid fair method, such an alternative necessarily fails to meet Cleary's fairness criterion. Thus, for fair tests, maximizing validity also minimizes adverse impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1993

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