Examining Subgroup Differences in Personality Scores: A Predictive Sample Approach
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Rustin David Meyer, Thesis Supervisor Susan Mohammed, Honors Advisor
Personality Adverse Impact Big Five Subgroup Differences Predictive Sample
Using the largest applicant sample to date, the present study compares the personality scores of Black (n = 17,649), White (n = 37,736), and Hispanic (n = 20,949) police applicants. Contrary to the current literature drawing almost exclusively on incumbent samples, the present investigation found significant Black-White differences in conscientiousness favoring White applicants. Black applicants also demonstrated higher scores on Agreeableness and Neuroticism relative to White applicants, who scored remarkably similarly to Hispanic applicants on every Big Five trait. The present results dispute the current function of personality measures as a means of reducing adverse impact in personnel selection, and carry additional implications for scholars and practitioners alike.