Personnel Selection Choosing the Right Person for the

Imagine giving a person a badge, a powerful car , and several guns and telling that person to drive around the community and uphold the law . It would be beneficial i you could make sure that you were not giving all this power to the wrong person. Personality tests are frequently used to screen out the wrong individuals from the pool of applicants for police of ficers. One of the most frequently given tests is the revise

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI II), which was designed to detect various mental illnesses. The MMPI II has 550 items, and its primary use is to identify persons with significant psy chological problems. Individuals with elevated scores indicating mental or emotional dif ficulties can be screened out of the pool o potential officers (Barrick & Mount, 1991)

Until recently, little was known about which personality traits contribute to the successful performance of the job of police of fice . Then Hargrave and Hiatt (1989) examined the California Personality Inventory (CPI) in relation to police of ficer performance. In thei study, they found that 13 percent of the cadets in training were found to be "unsuitable" by their instructors. Moreover , these unsuitable cadets differed from the "suitable" group on 9 scales of the CPI, including the conformity and social presence scales. In another sample of 45 of ficers on the job who were having serious problems Hargrave and Hiatt (1989) found that the CPI also discriminated this group from other police of ficers who were not having problems These findings provided evidence that the CPI is useful in the selec tion of police of ficers, and it, as well as other personality question naires, are being used for this purpose (e.g., Black, 2000; Coutts, 1990; Grant & Grant, 1996; Lowry, 1997; Mufson & Mufson, 1998).

The 16 Personality Factor (16 PF) questionnaire, described in Chapter 3, is also being used in vocational advising and selection. The 16 PF profile that best matches police o ficers is one that empha sizes boldness and self-confidence, qualities that facilitate one s abilities to direct or control others and to achieve goals (Krug, 1981). A heightened need for adventure and a strong need to influence other are linked with the enjoyment of careers that provide challenge and opportunities to take char ge. The police of ficer personality profile low on the need for support from others, which suggests a very self-assured personality. All of these personality characteristics appear to combine into a "masculine" profile. Nevertheless, the profile that matches the poli prototype occurs equally often among "normal" men and women in U.S. samples (Krug, 1981). Psychologically , men and women appear about equally equipped with the personality traits that most match the police of ficer prototype

The personality profile that characterizes police officers emphasizes boldness and self-confidence (qualities which facilitate the direction or control of others), a heightened need for adventure, and a low need for support from others (suggestive of self-assurance). The personality traits associated with being a good police officer are distributed equally among men and women (Krug, 1981).

The personality profile that characterizes police officers emphasizes boldness and self-confidence (qualities which facilitate the direction or control of others), a heightened need for adventure, and a low need for support from others (suggestive of self-assurance). The personality traits associated with being a good police officer are distributed equally among men and women (Krug, 1981).

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