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NCJ Number: 136898 Find in a Library
Title: Socio-Economic Status, Test Bias and the Selection of Police
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1992)  Pages:125-135
Author(s): C A Winters
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A study tested the potential ethnic bias in socioeconomic data on psychology tests used for police recruits.
Abstract: Selected items from the Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI) test were administered to 33 college students in a midwestern Junior College to determine their potential impact on police selection. The participants reflected diverse ethnic groups from lower to middle class socio-economic levels. Information concerning the personality characteristics and behavior patterns was obtained from 18 items on 5 IPI scales: Trouble with the law; job adjustment difficulties; depression; family conflict; and substance abuse. The results show that the economic status of the applicant can affect the score of minority applicants on the IPI test. A comparison of the test scores of the subjects in the study and the overall success rate of African American candidates for the Chicago Police Department indicates that items 92, 126, and 255 negatively impact on the employment opportunity of African Americans as police officers. In particular, these IPI items do not measure actual behavior, but rather reflect the income and employment history and status of the test participants. They do not identify the pathological or socially deviant attitudes which would place the test participant at moderate or high risk for police duty. 3 tables and 63 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Class discrimination; Minority police recruitment
Index Term(s): Illinois; Psychological evaluation; Racial discrimination
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