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Correlates of Factors in In-Basket Performance

Frederiksen, Norman O.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Office of Naval Research, Administrators, Bureau of Business In-Basket Test, Factor Structure, In-Basket Tests, Simulation, Situational Tests, Test Validity


Scores on tests of cognitive abilities, attitudes, interests, and personality and biographical information were obtained for a group of 115 federal government administrators, who had also been given the Bureau of Business In-Basket Test. The group overlapped with a larger group (N = 335) of subjects who had provided data for a factor analysis of scores from the in-basket. The purpose of the present study was to observe the correlations of in-basket scores with the ability and other measures and to estimate the factor loadings of the other measures on the factors obtained in the previous study. This was accomplished by estimating the correlations between in-basket scores and other variables for the larger group (assuming explicit multi-variate selection), and then using a factor extension procedure to estimate loadings on the oblique primary factors and the second- order factors. The general trend of the results is in harmony with the relationships one might expect on logical or theoretical grounds. Findings suggest that a response set toward social desirability is operating in one of the instruments and that scores on a social desirability scale under certain conditions might be useful in a predictor battery. The results tend to establish the construct validity of in-basket scores. It would therefore seem reasonable to consider using scores on situational tests like the in-basket as dependent variables in social-psychological experiments, or as provisional criteria for validating tests which approach the problem of measuring personality less directly. The use of situational tests in assessment is discussed.

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