Affect and its Assessment in Personnel Selection

Nishi Misra, Apoorva Ghanekar, Arunima Gupta


A sizable amount of literature supports the impact of positive and negative affectivity on organisational effectiveness. Higher positive affectivity is associated with experiencing a preponderance of positive feeling states, while higher levels of negative affectivity are associated with negative feelings. Right person for the right job can be selected if employers consider these emotional dispositions during the selection process. The present study was undertaken with aims to develop a Word Association Test with objective scoring system for assessment of positive and negative affect. A comprehensive list of 120 negative, positive, and neutral words each was prepared after consulting affective lexical resources. Ratings were taken from five SMEs on valence, control and intensity of each word. Two lists of 60 words each were prepared for data collection on 410 male subjects aged 16-18 years. Unanswered or incomprehensible words were deleted, and 45 words were retained. Responses were categorised into positive, negative, neutral categories, and computation of the total number of positive, negative and neutral responses was carried out and objective scoring scheme was prepared. Inter-rater reliability was found to range between 0.46 to 0.85. The concurrent validity was determined against PANAS (-0.273**), and E and N scales of NEO-PI-R (0.20**)


Negative affectivity; Positive affectivity; Selection; Word association test

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