International Journal of
Psychology and Counselling

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Psychol. Couns.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2499
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 213


Bias in personnel selection and occupational assessments: Theory and techniques for identifying and solving bias

  Herbert Kanengoni  
University of Fort Hare, Department of Industrial Psychology, P. Bag X1314, Alice,  5700, Republic of South Africa. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 April 2013
  •  Published: 31 May 2013



The controversy over the use of occupational assessments and how to deal with adverse impact resulting from group differences continue with no definitive answers. Despite the fact that it is a scientific and precise tool for measurement, psychological testing has been accused of being a culturally biased procedure that results in discrimination against minority groups, particularly against job candidates and such discrimination and bias raise problems which have adverse legal implications in organisations. The concept of bias is crucial in personnel selection specifically in psychometric testing and is one of the major problems encountered by psychologists. Although most practitioners rely heavily on psychometric testing as the best selection method, it is important for those who rely on these tests to be very careful when using them to avoid bias. The paper focuses on the theory and techniques for identifying bias and improving the validity of occupational assessments.


Key words: Bias, personnel selection, occupational assessments, discrimination