Test discrimination, job performance and age

R. D. Arvey, S. J. Mussio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Because companies have come to rely a great deal on psychological tests to select employees, the authors investigated the possibility of unfair test discrimination against older individuals. They conducted a validation study to relate job performance and test scores on a sample of 266 female civil service clerical workers in a large midwestern city. 34% of this sample were 24 yr or under (younger group); 35% were 50 yr or over (older group). Job performance was measured by supervisory ratings of the employees' overall job effectiveness, and test performance was gauged by a series of psychological tests. The analyses revealed that the younger group did significantly better on 3 of the 5 tests and the older group better on 2. But there was no difference when the two groups were evaluated on job performance. These results indicate that if any of the tests were used for selection purposes without considering the applicant's age, unfair test discrimination would occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial Gerontology
VolumeNo. 16
StatePublished - Jan 1 1973

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