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Providing a Context for Interpreting Predictions of Job Performance

Dorans, Neil J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Performance, Predictions, Predictor Variables, Criterion Variables, Test Scores, Scale Alignment, Constructs


A distinction is made between scores as measures of a construct and predictions of a criterion or outcome variable. The interpretation attached to predictions of criteria, such as job performance or college grade point average (GPA), differs from that attached to scores that are measures of a construct, such as reading proficiency or knowledge about a domain (e.g., physics). In contrast to a score whose meaning is tied to the fidelity with which it measures a construct, the meaning of a prediction is tied to the statistical relationship of its scale to that of the criterion. A contrived example that might be seen in an employment setting is used to illustrate potential misinterpretations associated with making the predicted score distribution look like the criterion score distribution it is predicting.

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