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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97261 Find in a Library
Title: Situation Tests and Police Selection
Journal: Journal of Police Sciences and Administration  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:30-35
Author(s): G Pugh
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two police recruit classes entering training in 1973 in the Edmonton Police Department (Alberta, Canada) were subjects in this study of the use of situation tests in police selection.
Abstract: The 58 male and 3 female recruits (average age 23 years, 3 months) were tested within the first week of their training. Situation tests, which placed recruits in simulated situations designed to measure certain skills, were presented individually in a standardized manner in the presence of two experimenters and an actor. The scripts of the six tests are provided. These tests attempted to measure approaches to maintaining personal rights and justice in social situations, as well as the ability to relate to a stranger requesting help and to verbalize and resolve situations while under mild stress; other tests were designed to demonstrate attitudes toward others and abilities in a socially recognizable position of authority. Subject performance was measured after 2 and 4.5 years on the job. At 2 years, the test which measured ability to relate to a stranger requesting help was the only situation test that significantly discriminated among the three groups of raters: sergeants, staff sergeants, and groups of raters: sergeants, staff sergeants, and senior constables. The test which involved speaking 3 minutes on 'what's wrong with the world' was very close to separating the groups. None of the variables, considered independently, were significantly related to job performance after 4.5 years on the job. In sum, the two tests which relied upon verbal expressiveness were the better predictors of job performance after 2 years on the job, suggesting that police selection officers should consider the verbal fluency and thought content of recruits as shown in these simple situation tests. Tabular data and 17 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Canada; Evaluation measures; Police personnel selection; Police recruits; Testing and measurement
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