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Situational Judgement Tests for Selection

Jan Corstjens, Filip Lievens and Stefan Krumm


When situational judgement tests (SJTs) began to regain popularity among the scientific community in the 1990s, there was an implicit notion that they captured context- dependent knowledge. In fact, the term ‘situational judgement’ carries the connotation of test-takers’ responses being more effective when they consider the specifics of the situation. In recent years another perspective has emerged, which views SJTs as capturing relatively context-independent knowledge (or general domain knowledge; Motowidlo, Crook, Kell & Naemi, 2009; Motowidlo, Hooper & Jackson, 2006a). Although SJTs and their items will often fall somewhere between these two perspectives, we posit in this chapter that it might be useful to distinguish between them. So far, there has been no review of the SJT literature in terms of these two approaches. This is understandable, as over the years the two perspectives have emerged alongside each other. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to review SJT research according to these two approaches.

The chapter is structured as follows. We start by presenting the traditional contextualized perspective underlying SJTs. We review the underlying theory, the developmental stages and the research evidence regarding this perspective (e.g., reliability, criterion- related validity, construct-related validity, subgroup differences, applicant reactions). We end our discussion of the contextualized perspective by homing in on new trends. Next, we present the general domain knowledge perspective, thereby following exactly the same structure as for the contextualized perspective. We end this chapter by presenting directions for future research and by giving recommendations for HR practices.

The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Recruitment, Selection and Employee Retention,

First Edition. Edited by Harold W. Goldstein, Elaine D. Pulakos, Jonathan Passmore and Carla Semedo. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2017 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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