Gender and ethnic group differences on personality scales in selection: Some British data

Deniz S. Ones, Neil Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


One important question concerning personality measures used in pre-employment testing is whether different demographic groups exhibit different mean scores. The present study quantifies the magnitude of gender and ethnic group differences on three popular UK work-related personality inventories, using British data. The tests used were the British version of the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), and the Business Personality Indicator (BPI). Despite a comprehensive literature search, no previous studies could be located which have focused on gender and ethnic group differences in the UK for inventories used in personnel selection. Using data from 504 participants, we found, encouragingly, that there were no large gender differences across the three inventories examined. The standard deviations of the male and female groups studied were also quite similar. Ethnic groups differences were slightly larger, but still not large enough to cause concerns over adverse impact. The results for HPI and OPQ scales pointed to somewhat larger differences between Chinese-White means than for Black-White means and Asian-White means. This pattern was not observed for the BPI. There was little consistency in the constructs exhibiting different means across the groups compared. Implications for personality test use in pre-employment testing, test construction, and adverse impact are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-276
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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