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Paul E. Spector


KSAOs refer to the knowledge, skill, ability, and other personal characteristics required for good job performance on a specific job. Knowledge is what a person knows that is relevant to the job (e.g., knowledge of legal procedures for a police officer). Skill is what a person is able to do on the job. This includes both mental tasks (e.g., skill in doing algebra) and physical tasks (e.g., skill in driving an automobile). Ability is the capacity to learn a skill (e.g., cognitive ability is the capacity to learn mental skills). Abilities include mental abilities, physical abilities, and psychomotor abilities. Other personal characteristics, not covered by the first three, include attitudes, beliefs, personality characteristics, temperaments, and values. All four classes of human characteristics can be assessed with psychological tests, as well as with other assessment devices. KSAOs are commonly assessed for purposes of personnel selection . Some job analysis methods provide specifications of the KSAOs necessary for a particular job. KSAO requirements can also be tied to individual job tasks ( see task ), which is helpful in designing jobs. The ability to associate KSAOs with individual tasks is important for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 . KSAO requirements that are associated with noncritical tasks can be relaxed to make reasonable accommodation ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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