A review of the content, criterion-related, and construct-related validity of assessment center exercises

J Appl Psychol. 2015 Jul;100(4):1143-68. doi: 10.1037/a0038707. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


This study uses meta-analysis and a qualitative review of exercise descriptions to evaluate the content, criterion-related, construct, and incremental validity of 5 commonly used types of assessment center (AC) exercises. First, we present a meta-analysis of the relationship between 5 types of AC exercises with (a) the other exercise types, (b) the 5-factor model of personality, (c) general mental ability (GMA), and (d) relevant criterion variables. All 5 types of exercises were significantly related to criterion variables (ρ = .16-.19). The nomological network analyses suggested that the exercises tend to be modestly associated with GMA, Extraversion and, to a lesser extent, Openness to Experience but largely unrelated to Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability. Finally, despite sparse reporting in primary studies, a content analysis of exercise descriptions yielded some evidence of complexity, ambiguity, interpersonal interaction, and fidelity but not necessarily interdependence. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Personality*
  • Personnel Selection / methods
  • Personnel Selection / standards*