Introduction: A stronger consideration of non-cognitive characteristics in Medical School application procedures is desirable. Psychometric tests could be used as an economic supplement to face-to-face interviews which are frequently conducted during university internal procedures for Medical School applications (AdH, Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen). This study investigates whether the results of psychometric questionnaires measuring non-cognitive characteristics such as personality traits, empathy, and resilience towards stress are vulnerable to distortions of social desirability when used in the context of selection procedures at Medical Schools. Methods: This study took place during the AdH of Lübeck University in August 2015. The following questionnaires have been included: NEOFFI, SPF, and AVEM. In a 2x1 between-subject experiment we compared the answers from an alleged application condition and a control condition. In the alleged application condition we told applicants that these questionnaires were part of the application procedure. In the control condition applicants were informed about the study prior to completing the questionnaires. Results: All included questionnaires showed differences which can be regarded as social-desirability effects. These differences did not affect the entire scales but, rather, single subscales. Conclusion: These results challenge the informative value of these questionnaires when used for Medical School application procedures. Future studies may investigate the extent to which the differences influence the actual selection of applicants and what implications can be drawn from them for the use of psychometric questionnaires as part of study-place allocation procedures at Medical Schools.
|Translated title of the contribution||Are the results of questionnaires measuring non-cognitive characteristics during the selection procedure for medical school application biased by social desirability?|
|Journal||GMS Journal for Medical Education|
|Publication status||Published - 01.01.2016|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)