A cautionary note on the effects of range restriction on predictor intercorrelations

J Appl Psychol. 2007 Mar;92(2):538-44. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.92.2.538.


The purpose of this research report is to highlight a unique set of issues that arise when considering the effects of range restriction in the context of estimating predictor intercorrelations. Three approaches are used to illustrate the issue: simulation, a concrete applied example, and a reanalysis of a meta-analysis of ability-interview correlations. The general conclusion is that a predictor intercorrelation can differ dramatically from the population value when both predictors are used in a composite that is used operationally for selection. The compensatory nature of a composite means that low scorers on one predictor can only obtain high scores on the composite if they obtain very high scores on the other predictor; this phenomenon distorts the correlation between the predictors.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Psychology / methods*
  • Psychology / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data