Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Frederick L. Oswald
Biographical data, or biodata, are measures of key aspects of individuals' life experiences intended to predict job applicants' future performance in organizations, whether that performance is task-specific job performance, teamwork, or shoplifting. Although biodata can be developed to measure a wide array of experiences and psychological constructs, the fundamental and general premises underlying the predictive power of biodata measures are that individuals in free societies shape their life experiences, and they also are shaped by them; this process of reciprocal influence between personality and situations occurs over a large time span; and therefore, measures of past experience should predict future work behavior, especially given a relatively unconstrained environment where employees' typical performance can be wide-ranging. In light of these premises, items on a biodata measure can be relatively personality oriented or covert in nature (e.g., “To what extent does your happiness depend on how things are going at work?”), or ...