Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Department of Psychology
Cognitive Abilities Test; Ethnic groups--Psychology; Cross-Cultural Comparison
This paper attempts to develop a model of applicant reactions to cognitive ability tests (CATS), with a specific focus on identifying explanations for African American - Caucasian differences in test reactions and performance. Data from 715 construction trades apprenticeship program applicants were analyzed. As expected, motivation for all applicants was range-restricted, which limited its value in predicting CAT scores. Instead, self-efficacy (S-E) exhibited a stronger relationship to CAT performance and explained a larger portion of the variance in African American - Caucasian CAT scores. Surprisingly, although African American and Caucasian applicants significantly differed in their success expectations and test-taking anxiety, African Americans reported higher S-E and lower anxiety than Caucasians. These findings run counter to past research relating race to S-E and anxiety. Moreover, both African American and Caucasian applicants reported similarly high face validity (FV) perceptions, which also differs from past student-based findings in which African Americans tend to report lower FV perceptions of CATs. In addition, S-E was found to serve an anxiety-reducing function, whereby African American and Caucasian individuals reporting high success expectations experienced less anxiety and performed better on the CAT. The model of applicant reactions to CATs demonstrated good fit to the applicant data. Limitations of the research and implications for use in personnel selection and testing are discussed.
Lonergan, Jennifer M., "Development of a model of applicant reactions to cognitive ability tests : shedding light on racial subgroup test score differences" (2002). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 2170.
viii, 147,  pages
Northern Illinois University
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