Extras

FACTS THAT MAY CONFLICT WITH THE SALES PITCH YOU HEAR

  • Forced choice assessments cannot create meaningful norms or models of successful performers in any job.
  • Untimed cognitive tests cannot accurately measure learning speed or processing speed.
  • Profiles of successful people in other companies are not the best way to determine what is successful for your company.
  • When a salesperson cites a percentage of accuracy for whatever assessment they are selling, it is the sales pitch. There is no such thing in the real world.
  • The EEOC does not approve any assessments. They do have standards of application that must be followed.
  • Companies that have tested millions of people may have just been around forever using the same basic assessment instrument whose science and methodologies have been surpassed by newer thinking and technologies.
  • It is nearly impossible to update an assessment when the fundamental model and item structure is the essence of the product. You can update the marketing material, add a Web site, and reformat the reports, but the data driving those is still stuck in the past.

WHAT ABOUT PSYCHOLOGISTS?

A common misunderstanding among business people is that psychologists know assessments. Many believe that psychologists automatically know the qualitative differences between different psychometric instruments and that they are familiar with the many products available in the marketplace. Psychometrics is a specialized area of psychological study. Most psychologists took a few required courses in that area, and are only familiar  with the assessments mentioned in those classes. I have met a few who were knowledgeable about the science but did not really know the market and were aware of only a few products. Psychologists can be of tremendous help in understanding how to work effectively with people, but I recommend seeking those who are eager to learn about new technologies.

OTHER RESOURCES

Buros Institute of Mental Measurements – buros.unl.edu

Established over 50 years ago by Oscar K. Buros, the mission of the Buros Institute is to improve tests and testing practices by providing candidly critical reviews of instruments. Each review is conducted by two independent scientists. It is important to note that selecting an instrument for review is neither an endorsement or recognition of any kind. There are over 80,000 occupationally-related instruments in the English language. Buros has reviewed both clinical and occupational instruments, with the greater number being clinically focused. Most business-oriented assessments are not included in the Buros reviews.

The reviews are accessible online for $15 each or you may find their annual Mental Measurements Yearbook in the library. My experience is that it is relatively rare to find the particular one you are seeking. Some that pop up in business circles with Buros reviews available are:

  • Birkman
  • Caliper Profile
  • Hogan Personality Inventory
  • Kolbe Conative Index
  • Personalysis
  • Profile XT

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