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Friday Seminar 1
Frontiers of Personality Research and Practice

The impact of personality on behavior—in work settings or elsewhere—is undisputed. It follows that the study of personality traits serves as an important avenue for understanding, explaining, and predicting individual, team, and organizational behaviors in work settings. Accordingly, the measurement of personality in organizational decision making is more prevalent than ever. Paralleling broad applications in work settings such as employee screening, selection, placement, and development, basic and applied research on personality measurement has increased exponentially since the 2000s.

Despite this popularity of the area of research, the measurement of personality—especially in high-stakes organizational settings—is still an emergent science and not without its fair share of controversy and detractors. In this workshop, we will present cutting-edge research on contemporary theories and measures of personality. This workshop focuses on two main questions: (a) How can one best use personality measures in personnel decisions? and (b) What are some concerns and non-concerns about using personality scales in applied settings?  We will provide an overview of cutting-edge developments in our knowledge of personality structure and measurement.
Current empirical research and illustrative applied examples from the development of psychological screening procedures and guidelines for public safety and other occupations will address concerns about predictive validity, social desirability, utility, cross-cultural applications, and potential adverse impact of personality measures. We will interactively discuss practice implications of key research findings.

Following this session, participants will be able to:
1. Explain the theoretical and empirical foundations of contemporary personality testing in occupational settings.
2. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of salient arguments for and against the use of personality assessment in occupation settings, including traditional and alternative formats (e.g., forced choice, ipsative, conditional reasoning).
3. Compare and contrast the use of personality measures for “select in” and “screen out” purposes, and identify appropriate measures and procedures for each type of application.
4. Describe the factor structure of personality attributes, including but not limited to Big Five and compound personality variables.
5. Identify the performance characteristics for assessing the merit, appropriateness, and utility of published personality measures for a given occupational purpose.  
6. Compare and contrast the use of personality measures in actuarial and clinical prediction, and for assessing normal-range traits versus personality disorders.  
7. Describe the proper use of meta-analytic results versus the conduct of site-specific validation (e.g., job analysis, validation, expert judgment).
8. Describe legal and ethical issues and concerns surrounding the use of personality measures in selection, including adverse impact, privacy, confidentiality, accountability, and disability rights.
9. Describe the effective use of personality measures in the larger hiring process (e.g., assessment center observations, background investigations, and psychologists’ evaluations, interviews).

Deniz S. Ones is a professor of psychology and the holder of the Hellervik Professorship of Industrial Psychology at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD from the University of Iowa in 1993 under the mentorship of Frank Schmidt. Her research, published in more than 100 articles and book chapters, focuses on personnel selection and measurement of personality, integrity, and cognitive ability for personnel staffing and has been cited over 2,000 times in the scientific literature. She has received numerous prestigious awards for her work in these areas; among these the 1994 Wallace Award for best dissertation and the 1998 McCormick Early Career Distinguished Scientific Contributions awards from SIOP (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association), as well as the 2003 Cattell Early Career Award from the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology. She is a Fellow of Divisions 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics) and 14 (Industrial and Organizational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. She has served as co-editor in chief of the International Journal of Selection and Assessment (2001–2006). She has served on editorial boards of multiple prominent scientific journals, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, and Perspectives on Psychological Science, among others. She has coedited the best-selling, two-volume Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology (2001) and several special issues of journals on cognitive ability tests, counterproductive work behaviors, and personality measurement for work applications. She has recently chaired the APA’s Committee on Psychological Testing and Assessment (CPTA). In her applied work, she focuses on helping organizations design, implement, and improve staffing and selection systems.

Shelley W. Spilberg serves as a supervising personnel selection consultant for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), where she has worked since 1989.  She is responsible for all matters related to California peace officer and public safety dispatcher selection and placement, including psychological screening, medical screening, background investigations, and oral interviews.  She also serves as the in-house expert on the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Fair Employment Act, and other related statutes and regulations.  Prior to joining POST, she served in a similar role with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, developing examination procedures, training programs, regulations and regulatory guidance associated with the nuclear power plant operator licensing examination.  She has served as a consultant for numerous private- and public-sector projects, before, during, and after receiving her PhD in I-O psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Stephan Dilchert is an assistant professor of management at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, New York. He received his PhD in I-O psychology from the University of Minnesota. His work focuses on the measurement of personality and cognitive ability for predicting job performance, creativity, and counterproductivity at work. His papers have been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Human Performance, and the International Journal of Selection and Assessment. He has also coauthored major handbook chapters on personality assessment for employee selection (with Leaetta Hough, in the upcoming Wiley Handbook of Employee Selection) and cognitive ability in selection decisions (with Deniz S. Ones and C. Viswesvaran, in the Blackwell Handbook of Employee Selection). For his dissertation research, Dr. Dilchert received the Meredith P. Crawford Fellowship from the Human Resources Research Organization. He has lived and worked in half a dozen countries in Europe, North America, and Asia, and has a strong interest in international and cross-cultural issues in testing and assessment. In addition to teaching management and human resource management at the undergraduate and graduate levels, he also has extensive experience in executive education, having conducted numerous workshops on personality assessment for large multinational corporations.

Coordinator:  Chu-Hsiang (Daisy) Chang, University of South Florida

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