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Psychometric Guide   | 3 Min Read

Chapter 7: Types Of Psychometric Tests

Written By Nishant Muralidharan

The two main components of psychometrics hinges on cognitive and personality tests. Certain assessment technology firms are known to include a combination of one or more tests in addition to the same to either standardize their solution or offer customization to specific use cases. Review the following to gain some insight:

Types Of Psychometric Tests

  • Personality Tests: 

    Personality tests gather information about an individual to make inferences about personal characteristics - include feelings, behaviours or thoughts. They are designed to measure aspects of personality that determine - or are predictive of - successful performance at work, thinking style, workplace relationships, task management, feelings and motivation.
  • Cognitive Tests: 

    Cognitive tests are all about measuring your competence and intellectual capabilities. It also works into understanding your logical and analytical reasoning abilities in a very specific area. This translates to a reasonably accurate assessment of your abilities to use specific job-related skills and to predict consequent job performance.
  • Domain or Skill Tests: 

    This is one of the most widely practiced testing technique. It plays a critical role in testing domain specific work or technical knowledge to establish a baseline to acquiring a job.

Other segments we haven’t already explored will follow in the subsections to come. These would include an overview in behavioral tests and motivation tests.

 

the-nuances-of-situational-judgement-or-behavioral-testsOver time, people have come to use personality and behavioral tests interchangeably. Suffice to say, it’s incorrect usage. In the segment that covers - Understanding the Iceberg Model, there’s mention of discernable and indiscernible traits. Behavioral tests tend to assess the more discernable traits, meaning employee behavior in a particular situation or environment.

If personality is one half of the equation, the other is representative of how said personality responds to a particular situation. This is why it makes more sense to compare this assessment to situational judgment tests (SJTs). Here, applicants are expected to face job-related situations and possible responses to the same.[89]

The development of SJTs covers three stages:

  • Job Analysis: 

    Critical incidents of work situations are collected from industry and subject matter experts or archival sources.[90] Developers often aim to acquire information that deal with specific content domains or constructs related to the job. After all, behavior on exposure to situations often vary from one job to the other.
  • Inexperienced Employees:

     This is something performed in tandem with the subject matter experts, where people are asked to generate one or more responses to each situation.[91] The experts are able to identify the best responses, and the less optimal responses also. Inexperienced employees, on the other hand, offer responses with a wide range of effectiveness.
  • Scoring Key: 

    When questions are rationally scored, the experts are asked to make judgments with respect to the effectiveness of the responses - both the best and worst options. Those identified as the best are scored as correct, while those determined the worst are deemed incorrect.

Situational Judgment Tests are a variant of assessment centers, where people are put into real-time situations based on roleplay. This is an observational understanding of the subject, but is limited in terms of attendance. SJTs offer a platform for a large number of candidates to simultaneously test, even more so on a digital solution.

The quality of these tests are often determined via reliability, validity, fakability and adverse impact. These have been discussed in Chapter 2 - Building a Standardized Psychometric Test.

Another important factor about Situational Judgment Tests is - fidelity and generalization. You may review this in the table below:

important-factor-situational-judgement

The table communicates a comparison between SJTs and Assessment Centers, both of which measure discernible traits or behavior triggered during particular situations.[92] These are methodologies derivative of behavioral consistencies and psychological fidelity principles.

The fidelity of the task stimulus refers to the extent to which the test realistically identifies with a situation that would be encountered in the workplace. But this isn’t the only measure to the test’s effectiveness. Fidelity is often required to find balance with generalizability - the extent to which scores from a test can be generalized to varying contexts.

note-why-is-generalizability-important

Employee motivation is a critical part of the workplace, in terms of performance development in a given department and the company even. Industry leaders and experts argue that employee motivation is something of a regular mandate. Despite the knowhow however, merely studies average a mere 13% as employees engaged at work. [94]

the-nuances-of-motivation-tests

It’s easy to say that without a motivated workplace, companies could trigger to a fairly risky position. In opposition, motivated employees lead to increased productivity and a more efficient throughput. There are benefits to improving employee motivation in the ecosystem:

benefits-improving-motivation-ecosystem

 
Organizations are committed to turning this around, into an advantageous situation. The key to making this a successful maneuver however, is to identify these employees both by the number and degree. Motivational Inventories surfaced with the intention to achieve the same on an organizational level.

These inventories stand important for the purpose it helps the organization with individual members across teams. Although the factors to motivation stand common, the pattern and combination of the same along with the relative weight placed provides valuable insight. After all, this is required considering we are all uniquely different.[95]

Motivation Inventories tend to provide an understanding of what motivates and drives an individual to effectively excel at work, and even establish high performance. It’s a proportional factor to an organization’s potential for success. What follows is usually employee engagement, and the section - Utilizing Psychometric Tests in Employee Engagement covers it extensively.

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Topics: Psychometric Guide

Originally published April 12 2019,updated April 14 2019

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