2014 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award
Michigan State University
Neal Schmitt is among the foremost contributors to the application of psychology in the workplace. Over his 40-year career as a psychometrician and industrial-organizational psychologist, Schmitt has dealt with one of the most important problems in our society: the placing of individuals with varied talents into occupations with varied psychological demands. In his “conventional” studies, he has examined the predictive values of a variety of cognitive and noncognitive tests on performance in individuals ranging from introductory civil servants and military enlisted personnel to college students.
Schmitt is a central figure in the progress that has been made in the last 35 years toward better tools to assess merit and better mechanisms for removing barriers to fair employment practices. His work has extended the range of such studies in two important ways. On the criterion side, in addition to considering conventional core outcome measures, he has examined extremely important additional measures of general organizational citizenship. On the predictor side, he has extended his research to consider a variety of cognitive and noncognitive predictors. Such research requires the development and use of extended experimental designs that employ advanced psychometric models.
In addition to his important studies of performance in academia and the workplace, Schmitt has both employed such models effectively and made substantial contributions to technical psychometrics. His research represents a fine blend of practical and theoretical work, as advocated by James McKeen Cattell a century ago.
See Schmitt’s award address presented at the 2014 APS Annual Convention in San Francisco.