MOTIVATIONAL COMPONENTS OF TEST TAKING

RICHARD D. ARVEY, WILLIAM STRICKLAND, GAIL DRAUDEN, CLESSEN MARTIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations

Abstract

The first phase of this research effort describes an effort to directly measure the attitudes and opinions of employment test takers toward the tests they just took; the instrument is called the Test Attitude Survey (TAS). Nine factors were developed which reflect test takers' expressed effort and motivation on the test, the degree of concentration, perceived test ease, and the like. Several studies were conducted showing that TAS factors were significantly sensitive to differences in test types and administration permitting the inference that the TAS possessed construct validity. The second phase of this study tested several propositions and hypotheses. In one study, it is shown that the applicants report significantly higher effort and motivation on the employment tests compared to incumbents, even when ability is held constant. A second study showed that a small but significant relationship exists between TAS factor scores, test performances, and the person factors. Moreover, some of the racial differences on test performances can be accounted for via the TAS factor scores; it is observed that after holding these TAS factors constant, racial differences on the employment tests scores diminished. In a third study, very limited evidence was found for the incremental and moderating effects of these attitudes, but there were several limitations to the study associated with small sample sizes, unknown reliabilities in the criterion scales, and so forth. Discussion focussed on the potential practical applications of the TAS instrument and factor scores. It is suggested that further research could have some utility in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-716
Number of pages22
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1990

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