Wednesday, April 04, 2007

2007 SIOP Conference, Part 1: The Tests

Getting the SIOP Conference program in the mail is kind of like getting the toy catalog as a kid. At least for me it is. I look forward to peering inside at all the hundreds of different presentations and topics. I won't be going this year but I get a heck of a lot out of simply reviewing nearly 200 pages of glossy-covered goodness.

So it was with great interest that I cracked open this year's conference program to see what was inside.

There is SO much content at a SIOP conference (too much, some say) that I won't even attempt to cover it all--heck, there are over 30 items (presentations, poster sessions, panel discussions, etc.) listed under "Personality" alone--but I'm going to hit some high points. Mostly stuff I find interesting.

The first thing I'm going to talk about isn't conference content at all--it's the ads in the program. Specifically, the test products mentioned in the ads. In addition to the program being a great overview of what's going on in the world of I/O research, it's a good way to find out about new tests and/or consulting firms. I won't be covering some, like the 16PF or HPI, because, well, they've been around for so long that most folks know about 'em (or should). Instead my eyes were drawn to the new kids on the block--at least new to me.

First up, the personality inventory for integrity assessment (PIA) from S & F Personalpsychologie. The ad states, "With...PIA, you can identify honest employees and decrease bullying, theft, and absenteeism." The website claims PIA is "the first ever German integrity test." What else do we know about it? Not a lot. The test presents candidates with various questions on "behavior conforming with contractual agreements, on reliability, and on their willingness to take risks." Apparently the test has been in use since 2000 and they are currently conducting a validation study by comparing answers given by inmates to non-detained individuals.

Next, the Sales Leader Navigator from Wilson Learning. This a 360-degree feedback instrument designed to be used for promotions in sales positions. The tool is tied to 76 competencies and "character elements" and can be tailored to specific organizational needs. The leadership roles focused on include visionary, tactician, facilitator, and contributor. Ratees can request feedback from raters via an online system. Other details about the assessment (say, item/scale type, reliability & validity data) will hopefully be forthcoming. For more general content info, see their"point-of-view whitepaper."

Last, two products from Saville Consulting--the Wave Professional Styles, designed to be used at the manager/director level, and a shorter version, Wave Focus, which apparently can be used with a wider applicant population. According to the website, the Wave "measures motivation, talent and preferred culture." It also apparently maps to the Big Five personality factors. The assessment presents a series of six statements, e.g., "I am an optimist" and uses a 9-point scale ranging from "Very Strongly Disagree" to "Very Strongly Agree." If two statements receive the same rating, they may be presented again and force the candidate to differentiate them. More information regarding development can be found here, including some reliability and validity information (without a description of the samples, unfortunately).

In future posts I'll cover some of the content of the presentation, including personality and cognitive ability testing. For those of you that are curious, the entire program is searchable by going to this link.

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