Who Built My Personality Test: Learning about Test Development
In a previous blog, we wrote about Three Things to Know Before Choosing a Hiring Test. Today we’ll talk about the importance of having test development information on the theories, samples, and processes used to develop the test.
Before buying a personality test, it is important to know some basic information about how the test was built. For example:
- Why was it created? Any scientific assessment should be based, in part, on an empirically-supported theory. Several theories and models of personality exist, the most popular of which is the Five-Factor Model (see Spotlight).
- How was it created? The sample that was used to develop the test is very important. A sample is the group of people that the test is tried out on. Tests should be developed with large, diverse samples. The age, gender, and vocational composition of this test-sample should roughly match the composition of your applicants. The more similarity between these groups, the more easily you can compare your applicants’ scores to the test-sample’s scores. The test-sample’s scores are also called norms and should be reported in the test’s manual.
- Who created it? The development of a scientifically-validated personality test is complex work. It is highly recommended that tests be purchased from reputable organizations that employ qualified test developers. Look for those with formal training in advanced statistics and psychometric techniques.
Up next, we’ll explain the importance of choosing a reliable personality test for your selection needs.