The effects of filmed demonstrations of physical abilities tests on entry-level male and female refinery job applicants
Tests are constantly being used in industrial settings as a means of predicting those job applicants who will make successful employees. A recent focus has turned to physical abilities tests which are intended to measure those physical abilities required on the job as determined by a formal job analysis. It was felt that these tests required an element of technique over and above the actual strengths measured. To help eliminate test performance differences due to technique, a filmed model demonstrating the proper method of performing a physical ability test was shown to entry-level refinery job applicants before their attempts at the test. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of showing the filmed model on subsequent test performance. Ninety eight job applicants were required to take a battery of 11 physical ability tests. The sample included 34 females and 64 males. Forty-three subjects saw a film of the paced valve turning test prior to performing the test. Fifty-five subjects saw a film of the leg lift test prior to performing it. Therefore, this study may be conceptualized as a replication with those who saw the leg lift film serving as controls for the paced valve turning experiment and those who saw the paced valve turning film serving as controls for the leg lift experiment. Regression analyses which first entered appropriate strength measures into the equation were performed in order to ascertain any differences over and above any real differences due to mere strength. Results from the paced valve turning experiment demonstrated: a main effect of the film (p< 01) with those who did not see the film performing significantly better than those who did see it; a main effect of sex (p< 01) with males performing better than females; and a statistically non-significant interaction between sex and film condition at the .05 level. The leg lift experiment showed a non-significant effect of the film at the .05 level; a main effect of sex (p< 01) with males outperforming better than females; and a non-significant interaction between sex and film condition at the .05 level.