Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2008

Abstract

This article contributes to the understanding of why the use of a frame-of-reference leads to increased criterion-related validity of personality inventories. Two competing explanations are described and tested. A between-subjects (N = 337) and a within-subject (N = 105) study are conducted to test the hypothesized effects of use of a frame of reference on reliability and validity. Regarding the effects on reliability, use of a frame of reference reduces within-person inconsistency (instead of between-person variability) in responding to generic items. Use of a frame of reference further leads to higher validity as a result of the reduction of between-person variability and within-person inconsistency. Yet, reducing these inconsistencies is not enough. It is also important to use a frame of reference that is conceptually relevant to the criterion. Besides implications for contextualized personality inventories, these results provide an explanation for the moderate validities of generic personality inventories.

Keywords

Frame of reference, personality scales, criterion-related validity, reliability, item responding

Discipline

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Journal of Applied Psychology

Volume

93

Issue

2

First Page

268

Last Page

279

ISSN

0021-9010

Identifier

10.1037/0021-9010.93.2.268

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org./10.1037/0021-9010.93.2.268

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