Developing and testing items for the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI )

C. Hill, J.A. Nel, F.J.R. van de Vijver, D. Meiring, V.H. Valchev, B.G. Adams, G.P. de Bruin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    A multicultural country like South Africa needs fair cross-cultural psychometric instruments.
    Research purpose:
    This article reports on the process of identifying items for, and provides a quantitative evaluation of, the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI) items.
    Motivation for the study:
    The study intended to develop an indigenous and psychometrically sound personality instrument that adheres to the requirements of South African legislation and excludes cultural bias.
    Research design, approach and method:
    The authors used a cross-sectional design. They measured the nine SAPI clusters identified in the qualitative stage of the SAPI project in 11 separate quantitative studies. Convenience sampling yielded 6735 participants. Statistical analysis focused on the construct validity and reliability of items. The authors eliminated items that showed poor performance, based on common psychometric criteria, and selected the best performing items to form part of the final version of the SAPI.
    Main findings:
    The authors developed 2573 items from the nine SAPI clusters. Of these, 2268 items were valid and reliable representations of the SAPI facets.
    Practical/managerial implications:
    The authors developed a large item pool. It measures personality in South Africa. Researchers can refine it for the SAPI. Furthermore, the project illustrates an approach that researchers can use in projects that aim to develop culturally-informed psychological measures.
    Personality assessment is important for recruiting, selecting and developing employees. This study contributes to the current knowledge about the early processes researchers follow when they develop a personality instrument that measures personality fairly in different cultural groups, as the SAPI does.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    JournalSouth African Journal of Industrial Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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