AuthorOlaru, GabrielBurrus, JeremyMacCann, CarolynZaromb, Franklin M.Wilhelm, OliverRoberts, Richard D.
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Situational Judgment Tests as a method for measuring personality: Development and validity evidence for a test of Dependability
Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) are criterion valid low fidelity measures that have gained much popularity as predictors of job performance. A broad variety of SJTs have been studied, but SJTs measuring personality are still rare. Personality traits such as Conscientiousness are valid predictors of many educational, work and life-related outcomes and SJTs are less prone to faking than classical self-report measurements. We developed an SJT measure of Dependability, a core facet of Conscientiousness, by gathering critical incidents in semi-structured interviews using the construct definition of Dependability as a prompt. We examined the psychometric properties of the newly developed SJTs across two studies (N = 546 general population; N = 440 sales professionals). The internal validity of the SJTs was examined by correlating the SJT scores with related self-report measures of Dependability and Conscientiousness, as well as testing the unidimensionality of the measure with CFA. Additionally, we specified a bi-factor model of SJT, self-report and behavioral checklist measures of Dependability accounting for common and specific measurement variance. External validity was examined by correlating the SJT scale and specific factor with work-related outcomes. The results show that the Dependability SJTs with an expert based scoring procedure were psychometrically sound and correlated moderately to highly with traditional self-report measures of Dependability and Conscientiousness. However, a large proportion of SJT variance cannot be accounted for by personality alone. This supports the notion that SJTs measure general domain knowledge about the effectiveness of personality-related behaviors. We conclude that SJT measures of personality can be a promising addition to classical self-report assessments and can be used in a wide variety of applications beyond measurement and selection, for instance as formative assessments of personality.