Police applicant screening: An analogue study

Raymond M. Costello, Lawrence S. Schoenfeld, Joseph Kobos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Police department supervisors rated subordinates (N = 424) as either a credit or discredit to the department. A derived empirical MMPI index called the Goldberg Index (L + PA + SC − HY − PT) was used to differentiate three groups of officers: Acceptables, Intermediates, and Unacceptables. Acceptables could be differentiated from Unacceptables with the Goldberg Index at a high level of confidence. Validational shrinkage was observed when Intermediates were added to the pool. Conclusions drawn were that (1) police officers are a heterogeneous population and that numerous predictive indices will be required to screen adequately a pool of applicants; (2) the Goldberg Index with a cutting score of 60 may detect as many as 25% of a target population; (3) indices such as that of Goldberg are useful as phase I screens to generate high‐density samples of a target phenomenon; (4) further work is necessary to determine what the Goldberg Index is measuring in a nonpsychiatric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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