Saturday, April 3, 2010

What do 'your folks' say abut you?

Saturday, April 3, 2010
How do you decide if a good psychometric instrument is actually good? Its creators will tell you how many validity and reliability tests have been done for the test. When it comes to taking these instruments, one oft-heard remark is "can it really tell me something about myself?" It is a valid question and deals with validity and reliability of the instrument. On the other hand, most self-respecting  and honest psychometricians will also tell you this - "nobody can claim to know you better than what you know about yourself."

Which means that if I lie through my test, I would already know this fact when looking at the results. If I can thus delude myself, what is the next best way of telling me that I am a liar? Ask others! But then, it won't be that easy, will it? If there could be a way of taking a psychometric instrument all by oneself, but generate data about 'how others would describe me' then that would be wonderful. Like having a cake and eating it too. 

The California Psychological Inventory (CPI260) does just that. CPI260 and its original bigger version the CPI434 have been used for nearly 40 years and have been regarded as highly effective by many organizations. The test shares many items with another powerful test, the MMPI (Minnesota Memletics Psychological Inventory). Unlike MMPI, which has more clinical and diagnostic applications, the CPI is aimed more at generating a profile that also predicts the most likely behaviour in different situations. The test is constructed on the basis of a unique concept of 'folk scales'. It thus describes you using words and phrases that common people would use to describe you. In fact, CPI260 has been described as getting a 360-degree feedback without actually doing one.

The CPI260 can generate two kinds of reports for you. The CFR (Client Feedback Report) generates a personality profile using 26 'folk scales' like Dominance, Social Conformity, Flexibility and Conceptual Fluency. It must be rememberd that the CFR needs some amount of explanantion. This is best done through a one-to-one session between the candidate and CPI practitioner. Coaching Report for Leaders (CLR) is the other report that can be generated. This report, as its name suggests, generates a report using 15 leadership competencies. Each of these competency is actually a combination of two folk scales which are used in a CFR. THe CLR has a coach's voice and required little explanation.

CPI260 is effectively used for coaching, leadership development and also for selection.

Note - CPI260, CPI434 and California Psychological Inventory are registered trademarks of CPP, Inc.


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