Issues With Forced Choice Tests

Issues with forced choice tests

It is impossible to establish the validity of forced-choice or ‘ipsative’ tests due to the nature of the scoring system. For example if I asked you if you preferred chocolate ice cream or vanilla you might indicate chocolate. However this type of scoring doesn’t tell you if you love both vanilla and chocolate, hate them both but hate chocolate less and so forth. Thus ipsative tests do not ask questions in ways that allow meaningful comparisons among individuals. It only describes that person relative to themselves. So you are more introverted than extroverted by we don’t know precisely how introverted you are relative to other people in general or anyone else in particular. This is a major issue in selection as these kinds of comparisons are critical. You cannot establish fit if you don’t know the level of the variable, we only that you like chocolate more than vanilla. Over the past 35 years significant progress has been made in understanding and measuring personality. Perhaps the biggest improvement has been the emergence of the Five Factor Model of personality- sometimes referred to as the ‘Big Five’. Decades of research and thousands of published studies by top psychologists have shown how useful the Five Factor Model is in predicting many organizational outcomes. It is the scientific standard used on the field. In the past 10 years there have been some modifications and improvements in the Five Factor Model. A sixth factor (HEXACO model) was added which improved predictions even more and is becoming well recognized as a major alternative to the Five Factor Model. These personality models have been shown to be accurate across many languages and national cultures. They are the pinnacle of over 100 years of personality research in our field. In addition to the major personality factors they also provide more fine-grained personality facets to aid in prediction. They were designed for a ‘normal’ population in organizations rather than being used for clinical populations. Applicants also respond to them more favorably than with clinical psychology tools which may also identify disabilities (making their use in selection legally risky). Counterpart Match only uses the most up to date, cutting edge personality measures that have been scientifically validated. This provides the most accurate descriptions and predictions which are needed to make informed choices in organizational contexts.

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