Original Research

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

Carin Hill, Jan Alewyn Nel, Fons J.R. van de Vijver, Deon Meiring, Velichko H. Valchev, Byron G. Adams, Gideon P. de Bruin
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 1 | a1122 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i1.1122 | © 2013 Carin Hill, Jan Alewyn Nel, Fons J.R. van de Vijver, Deon Meiring, Velichko H. Valchev, Byron G. Adams, Gideon P. de Bruin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 April 2013 | Published: 12 November 2013

About the author(s)

Carin Hill, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Jan Alewyn Nel, School of Human Resource Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Fons J.R. van de Vijver, School of Human Resource Sciences, North-West University, South Africa; Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg Unniversity, The Netherlands; School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia
Deon Meiring, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Velichko H. Valchev, Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands; Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Byron G. Adams, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Gideon P. de Bruin, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: 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.

Contribution/value-add: 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.


Keywords

Test development; Personality measurement, Equivalence; South African Personality Inventory (SAPI)

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