Selection test anxiety: Investigating applicants' self- vs other-referenced anxiety in a real selection setting
Proost, Karin × Derous, Eva Schreurs, Bert Herman Hagtvet, Knut De Witte, Karel #
International Journal of Selection and Assessment vol:16 issue:1 pages:14-26
Test anxiety has received limited attention in personnel selection research, although it may impair the test performance of applicants. This paper describes the development and validation of a new two-dimensional measure of applicants’ test anxiety, namely the Self- versus Other-Referenced Anxiety Questionnaire (SOAQ), that embeds worrisome cognitions of anxious applicants in the social evaluative context of ‘self’ (Self-Referenced Anxiety) and ‘significant others’ (Other-Referenced Anxiety). An exploratory factor analysis (calibration sample), followed by a confirmatory factor analysis (validation sample) and correlations with several proximal and distal theoretical constructs indicated satisfactory psychometric properties and construct validity for both SOAQ scales. Structural equation modeling further showed a differential impact of Self- and Other-Referenced Anxiety on applicants’ test performance within a real personnel selection context. The scientific and practical relevance of these findings are discussed.