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Appl Ergon. 1996 Feb;27(1):45-52.

Gender differences in performance of a selection test using the incremental lifting machine.

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  • 1School of Physical and Health Education, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 3N6.


The purpose of the study was twofold: (1) to examine any gender differences in the performance of a pre-employment selection test using the incremental lifting machine (ILM); and (2) to formulate recommendations regarding analyses of selection fairness in studies of pre-employment screening tests and devices. Data were collected in a series of studies designed to permit analyses of: (1) dynamic measures derived for a 1.8 m maximum ILM strength test; (2) relationships between ILM test scores and performance of a maximal box-lifting task using three different protocols; (3) the impact of anthropom trie measures on performance of both test and task; (4) prediction of actual task performance; and (5) accuracy of the ILM screening test for three different cut-off standards. Results revealed that females differed significantly from males in their performance of a 1.8 m maximum ILM strength test in terms of timing, displacement, velocity, acceleration, force and power. Maximum ILM scores attained by females were poorly correlated with maximum box-lifting scores, but they were significantly related to body weight. Also, regression analyses based on ILM scores and associated dynamic parameters accounted for twice as much variance in box-lifting scores for males than for females. Furthermore, the use of cut-off standards of 22.7 kg and 27.3 kg produced a percentage of false negative results for females (12% and 32% respectively), but not for males. Also, for the cut-off level of 27.3 kg, female selection rates were only 56% of the selection rates for males. Issues for future investigation are recommended.

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