Christopher Nye

Christopher  Nye
  • Associate Professor
  • Organizational Psychology


PhD, Industrial Organization, University of Illinois, 2011 
MA, Industrial Organization, University of Ilinois, 2006 
BS, Psychology, Washington State, 2003


Curriculum Vitae: Christopher Nye


I have three primary streams of research. First, I am interested in understanding the employee selection process. In order for organizations to be effective, it is essential that they hire the right employees for the job. Given the importance of employee selection, my research has focused on assessing job applicants, identifying the individual differences that will be the best predictors of job performance and satisfaction, and identifying the employees who are the best fit for the job. One key focus of my research in this area has been on understanding bias in the employee selection process. Bias during the employee selection process can result in misleading or inaccurate information and lead to questions about the fairness of employee selection decisions and the disproportionate selection of some groups over others. However, biases are not the only threat to the accuracy of the selection process. Past selection research has generally focused on only a very narrow range of predictors. As a consequence, researchers and practitioners often have an incomplete picture of an individual’s potential for success at work. Therefore, my recent research has also focused on developing and validating assessments of personality and vocational interests that can be used to identify high-potential applicants for employment. In particular, I have been focusing on the study of vocational interests in the workplace. Although a substantial amount of research has examined personality in an organizational context, organizational researchers have focused much less on how interests can contribute to the understanding of employees' attitudes and behavior. Therefore, I am currently conducting a number of studies to address this limitation and to integrate vocational interest research with existing models and theories of workplace behavior.

My second primary stream of research is on the use and interpretation of quantitative methods in organizational research. The use of appropriate methods is essential for conducting high quality research. Consequently, one of my primary research interests is in understanding the biases, misuses, and misinterpretation of quantitative techniques. The bulk of my research in this area has primarily focused on structural equation modeling (SEM) and item response theory (IRT). Consistent with my research on the employee selection process, I am particularly interested in understanding and interpreting measurement bias [also known as measurement nonequivalence or differential item functioning (DIF) in IRT terminology]. Measurement bias is important to understand in organizational research because its presence can influence research results and the conclusions that are drawn from a study. More recently, my research on measurement bias has focused on developing and evaluating effect sizes for interpreting organizational research results. The focus on statistical significance testing is a major limitation of many of the quantitative techniques used in organizational research. One way to address this issue is to use effect sizes. However, effect sizes are not available for all types of statistical tests and, therefore, my research has focused on developing new ways of estimating effect sizes that can facilitate the interpretation of research results.

Finally, my interests in psychological measurement and employee selection have led to my third stream of research on improving our understanding of individual differences across time and contexts. Non-cognitive characteristics, like personality and vocational interests, are important predictors of behavior at work. However, more research is needed to understand how these individual differences may change over time as a function of workplace experiences. There is a growing body of research indicating that personality traits change over an individual’s lifetime. Based on the timing of these changes and the theory behind them, work appears to play a role in these developmental trends. In contrast, vocational interests tend to be more stable but research also suggests that interests can change over time as well. Therefore, my research has focused on understanding these changes in both personality and vocational interests and quantifying the effects of work on these individual differences over time.