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Overview Of Psychometric Testing And Personality Tests – Part II

Author : Alison Price

Outlined below are a number of the primary psychometric tests measuring aspects of personality or values. The purpose in considering these is to shed some light on the administration of personality psychometric assessments and to identify what they are looking to evaluate.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

One of the most popular personality psychometric assessments used globally is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is a personality preference assessment based on the work of the psychologist Carl Jung. The MBTI is widely used: for recruitment in the selection process; in team-building, to help team members understand themselves, their colleagues and the dynamics of their associations; and also on an individual level to help the person understand how their personality will interact with peers, clients and managers.

The MBTI asks the candidate to answer a number of questions where one choice identifies you as belonging to one of four paired traits. The MBTI categories the person into a type defined by Jung that is based on 4 bi-polar scales.

The MBTI test takes around 20 minutes to complete. People who complete the test typically find it provides a revealing insight into their personality, their preferences and how they interact in relationships and their environment.

Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a test that measures personal characteristics that relate to the capacity to be successful at work, in individual relationships, in study and training, and in life. The HPI has been used for over 25-years by organisations for estimating employee performance. Conceived specifically for the business community, the HPI has assisted them in improving bottom-line outcomes by contracting turnover, absenteeism and poor customer service.

The HPI assesses seven core dimensions of the so called 'bright side' of personality. The ability for people to get along with and get ahead of peers become dominant themes in life. The seven scales of the HPI measure key behavioural traits that relate to these life themes.

The HPI contains 206 items that are keyed true or false and has a 15- to 20-minute completion time.

Hogan Motives Values Preferences Inventory

The Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) is a test that unveils a person's core values, goals and their interests. The MVPI identifies what a person wants to do, as opposed to what a person is likely to do, in given situations.

Organisations typically point to their culture as being a source of their success and it is with this in mind that the MVPI was developed. The MVPI is the only inventory that seeks to measure an individual’s core values and then likens them to the existing culture and values of an organisation. Organisations therefore use the MVPI to ensure that a new employee’s values are consistent with those within the organisation.

The MVPI contains 200 items that are keyed agree, uncertain, or disagree and takes approximately 15 and 20 minutes to complete.

Hogan Development Survey

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) measures behavioural tendencies that can be barriers to occupational success. Unlike the HPI, which examines the ‘bright side’ of personality, the HDS test identifies tendencies that are often referred to as the ‘dark side’ of the personality.

The HDS contains eleven dimensions identifying personality traits that can obstruct work relationships, productivity, and limit overall career potential. These are referred to as ‘career derailers’. They are ingrained in an individual’s personality traits. Under normal circumstances, these behavioural tendencies are typically considered strengths. However, when an individual is in under stress, tired, pressured, or distracted, these eleven performance risk factors have the ability to hinder effectiveness and decay the quality of relationships with customers and working peers. The HDS is the only business-related inventory that assesses these dysfunctional tendencies.

The HDS contains 168 items that are keyed true and false and takes approximately 15 and 20 minutes to complete.


Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors (16PF) model is a commonly used system for categorising and defining personality. The 16PF instrument has been utilised for over 40 years in a variety of applications, including hiring and promotion recommendations, even couples' counseling,

The 16PF assesses five primary scales of management that forecast management capability and style. In this way the 16PF assists with personnel selection and occupational development. It can also be used for vocational assistance to help an individual determine occupations for which they are best suited.

Unlike the MBTI, the 16PF defines our underlying personality, regardless of how we apply it or the environment in which we apply it. The integration of 16PF factors enable the person to recognize the "real them", the one that is underneath their outward self, which has been forged through a person’s upbringing and environment.

The 16PF contains 185 multiple-choice items and takes between 35 and 50 minutes to complete.

A final word

The outcomes of psychometric assessments are typically delivered via a report that provides a summary on what has been measured and the underlying data results. They do not usually contain any interpretive data as it is considered a violation of professional ethics to supply a psychometric test without person-to-person follow-up verification by a qualified practitioner, such as a Chartered Occupational Psychologist.

Author's Resource Box

Alison Price C.Psychol is a freelance London Occupational Psychologist who uses psychology to drive measurable organisational improvement through its employees and delivers a range of psychometric testing.

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Tags:   Psychometric tests, Psychometric testing, Psychometrics, Psychometric assessments

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Submitted : 2010-10-22    Word Count : 876    Times Viewed: 576