Constructs and assessment center dimensions: Some troubling empirical findings

Paul R Sackett, George F. Dreher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


Maintains that exercise design alone serves as weak evidence for construct validity due to the complexity of the typical assessment center rating and evaluation process. Evidence that assessment ratings accurately reflect the complex traits they purport to measure has not been provided to date. To explore this issue, the interrelationships among dimensional ratings between and within exercises in 3 assessment centers were examined. 559 candidates for upper-level management from a multinational firm, a civil service commission, and a retailer were assessed on managerial skills (including communication and interpersonal skills). Postexercise ratings of assessment dimensions were correlated and factor analyzed. The resulting factor pattern for all 3 organizations represented exercises rather than dimensions. In 2 of the organizations, the mean correlation among across-exercise ratings of individual dimensions was near zero. These findings suggest that assessment ratings do not measure the intended constructs. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • construct validity of assessment center ratings, candidates for upper level management in 3 organizations


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