Police selection via psychological testing : A United Arab Emirates study.

AL-ALI, Omar E. (2011). Police selection via psychological testing : A United Arab Emirates study. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The selection of effective police officers is not a new concern, but in the UAE and many other countries, particularly in Arabic-speaking contexts, these issues have not been given considerable attention until recently. Most published studies appear to focus on the relationships between psychopathological personality tests and police performance, and very little has been written about other normal personality taxonomies (such as the Big Five). This study was therefore conducted to fill this gap, with its main goal to investigate the relationships between the five-factor model of personality, general cognitive ability, emotional intelligence (El), and work-related behaviours (i.e., job performance, training performance, perceived job stress, coping with stress, and counterproductive work behaviours, or CWB) amongst a sample of current and newly hired police officers at theAbu Dhabi Police Force in the UAE.More specifically, following an exhaustive literature review, a research gap has been identified, as there is little meaningful research available on the role of normal personality traits, cognitive ability, and El in predicting work-related behaviours in police organisations, particularly within Arab countries. Accordingly, the main question in the present research was: "To what extent could the use of psychometric testing enhance the effectiveness of police officer selection processes in the UAE?" Based on this objective, three different studies were conducted. Study One (n = 30) investigated existing processes of hiring police officers at Abu Dhabi Police in the UAE. Results have indicated that although the current processes of police officer selection may be simple and cost-efficient, there are several criticisms levelled against them, such as that they are less valid and less fair, and thus more likely to lead to negative outcomes, such as poor selection and low police performance levels. In addition, senior police managers believe that using psychometric tests such as personality and cognitive ability measures in the selection process may play a role in selecting the best entry-level police officers; and that Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Extraversion are important dimensions for high performance police officers.Results of Study Two (using cross-sectional research design, and based on current officers from the Abu Dhabi Police, n = 310) and results of Study Three (using longitudinal data collection methods, and based on newly hired officers at the Abu Dhabi Police, n = 385), showed that cognitive ability, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism, and emotional intelligence are all significantly correlated with job performance, training performance, perceived job stress, and CWB. Moreover, consistent support was found for the validity of cognitive ability, Conscientiousness, and emotional intelligence in predicting overall actual job performance.These results suggest that measuring candidates' personality traits, cognitive ability, and emotional intelligence may enhance the police personnel selection process. It also supports the validity of selecting the best applicants, rather than screening out unfit candidates to enhance police outcomes. These findings were discussed in the framework of the Big Five and El models, and their implications for police research were analysed particularly in the areas of personnel selection and training. Further research was also explored in light of the study's findings and potential limitations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2011.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20614

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