Differential item functioning by sex and race in the hogan personality inventory

Richard Sheppard, Kyunghee Han, Stephen M. Colarelli, Guangdong Dai, Daniel W. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The authors examined measurement bias in the Hogan Personality Inventory by investigating differential item functioning (DIF) across sex and two racial groups (Caucasian and Black). The sample consisted of 1,579 Caucasians (1,023 men, 556 women) and 523 Blacks (321 men, 202 women) who were applying for entry-level, unskilled jobs in factories. Although the group mean differences were trivial, more than a third of the items showed DIF by sex (38.4%) and by race (37.3%). A content analysis of potentially biased items indicated that the themes of items displaying DIF were slightly more cohesive for sex than for race. The authors discuss possible explanations for differing clustering tendencies of items displaying DIF and some practical and theoretical implications of DIF in the development and interpretation of personality inventories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-453
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Differential item functioning
  • Employee selection
  • Hogan Personality Inventory
  • Item bias
  • Measurement bias
  • Personality testing


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