Work Sample Exams and Gender Adverse Impact Potential: The Influence of Self-Concept, Social Skills, and Written Skills
14 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010
We clarify the existing literature on gender differences in work sample exams by disentangling such differences on work sample exams from other predictors (e.g., situational judgment tests). In fact, we note that there are only two articles specifically related to gender differences in work sample exams. Based on theory and literature from social psychology, neuropsychology, and applied psychology, we propose that the three constructs of self-concept, social skills, and writing skills are likely to influence work sample gender differences. We tested our hypotheses on two samples of managers. We found in one instance that males scored higher on a technical exercise, but there was stronger support for females, on average, scoring higher on exercises that involved social skills and on exercises that involved writing skills. Work samples that targeted a broad array of knowledge, skills, and abilities were associated with higher overall scores for females (ds of −.37 and −.34) and, thus, were unlikely to be associated with gender-based adverse impact against females.
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