Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor





Police officer selection research has revealed a number of relationships between scores on psychological tests and performance on the job. Although a few of these predictor scales have been consistently linked with job performance, many still require further investigation. It was proposed that the personality scales most consistently linked to job performance concern two broad constructs including: (1) prosocial personality characteristics, and (2) level of psychological distress. Guided by findings from the police outcomes literature and research regarding the factor structure and intercorrelation of MMPI and CPI scales, it was proposed that Scales 4 and 9 from the MMPI and Ac, Sc, Gi, Wb, and Re from the CPI represent a prosocial construct, while Scales F, K, 6, 7, and 8 from the MMPI represent a psychological distress construct. For the present study, data from 20 female and 198 male police officers from two police departments were used to show the connection between pre-hire personality test scores and subsequent performance on the job. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was first used to evaluate for model fit and strength of relationship between the proposed latent variables and observed variables. Next, the structural model was tested to evaluate the hypothesized relationships between latent constructs. With some alteration to the proposed models, MMPI scales and CPI scales reliably loaded on latent constructs, but those constructs did not have

strong relationships with outcome variables in the predicted directions. Observed performance indicators reliably loaded on either a positive outcome latent variable or a negative outcome latent variable. The proposed prosocial latent variable required redefinition and showed a strong negative relationship with the positive outcome variable. Tlie psychological distress factor did not show a strong relationship with either the positive or negative outcome latent variables. Predicted and unexpected results are discussed in terms of the strengths and limitations of the current study and the use of measures of personality in the selection of police officer candidates.

Personality and police officer performance.

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Psychology Commons