Title page for ETD etd-05152001-125408

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Swander, Carl Joseph
Author's Email Address carl@ergometrics.org
URN etd-05152001-125408
Title Video-Based Situational Judgment Test Characteristics: Multidimensionality at the Item Level and Impact of Situational Variables
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Harvey, Robert J. Committee Chair
Axsom, Daniel K. Committee Member
Carlson, Kevin D. Committee Member
Donovan, John J. Committee Member
Mullins, Morell E. Jr. Committee Member
  • SJT
  • Situational Characteristics
  • Video-Based Situational Judgment Tests
Date of Defense 2001-05-03
Availability unrestricted
A new approach was taken to identify a specific construct or dimension being measured by a video-based situational judgment test (VBSJT). Appropriate exertion of control was specifically explored in relation to a VBSJT test designed for entry-level selection of law enforcement officers. Ratings from ten law enforcement experts were utilized to identify this construct. The VBSJT items scored toward overexertion of control were significantly related to performance (r = .23) in a sample of 334 incumbent police officers, capturing a large portion of the effective variance of the test which had an overall validity of r = .34.

Situational variables within the items were then compared to ratings of exertion of control within a sample of 5426 applicants. General provocation toward overexertion of control and ethnicity significantly affected appropriate exertion of control. Gender and likeability also had significant impact on appropriate exertion, but the practical significance was limited. Specific character manipulations (i.e., rudeness, aggressiveness, pleasantness, cooperativeness, sympathy, and suspiciousness) also had a significant impact on appropriate exertion of control. Specific information manipulations (i.e., warrants, complaints, contemptible crimes and laws being broken) also had an impact on appropriate exertion of control. Some unexpected findings suggest that the character manipulations may actually override the effect of other provocation.

The overexertion of control scale was also applied to test hypotheses about the likely behavior of police officers. It was found that the location of the organization had an affect on overexertion of control. Contrary to the hypothesis, suburban locations had more overexertion of control than urban locations. Length of tenure for police officers did not have an effect on overexertion of control. This difference did not affect validity across organizations. Implications and further research are discussed.

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