The area of Organisational Psychology (I/O) is firmly grounded in science and the use of scientific methods. A key part of an I/O Psychology degree is learning about statistics, validity and research methods, which guide us when analysing new psychometric tools and approaches.

Scientific methods and research based approaches

The psychometric assessment tools we recommend have:

  • Extensive research behind them
  • Been proven to measure what they are designed to measure
  • Been developed to meet the reliability and validity standards of test construction – read more about validity and reliability...read more about assessment validity and reliabliity
  • Passed the standards of test construction required to be endorsed and used by registered psychologists
  • Been peer reviewed

We do not recommend the latest “fad” or assessment, unless it has been proven to be scientifically robust and valid. 

For the layperson or even most experienced HR manager sometimes the claims of less scrupulous assessment Tools with proven ability to accuractely measure people's preferencesbusinesses or consultants on the accuracy and utility of their tests and assessments can seem compelling. 

For instance claims like “Predicts Sales Success with 70% accuracy” and other such claims are, at best misleading, at worst fraudulent. 

There is no legitimate single psychological test, which has ever approached predictive accuracy of 70%, and we would caution any person accepting such a claim without the proof to back it up.  This proof would need to be a published academic study in a well regarded academic journal and for the test to be peer reviewed. 

The role of a Registered Psychologist is to adhere to ethical guidelines that ensure they:

“are prepared to justify, in terms of scientific literature, their use and interpretation of any assessment instrument or procedures.  They are to avoid using instruments which are obsolete or of dubious scientific nature”

From the New Zealand Psychological Society : Code of Ethics code of ethics

Test Makers who are serious about making Assessments will:
  • Conduct extensive research on their tool prior to publishing itHave the test makers put their test up for peer review?
  • Publish their studies in scientific journals where their research data, methods and conclusions are subject to peer critique
  • Submit their assessment to be peer reviewed by American Buros Institute or the British Psychological Society.

Another example of a potentially misleading claim is from Daniel Goleman’s corporate partner Hay/McBer:

“Recent research has shown that EI is twice as important as IQ in determining future career success.”

Taken from the Hay Website www.haygroup.com/tl/EI/Default.aspx

There is no research evidence given for this claim on the Hay/McBer website and papers such as the Schmidt & Hunter (1998) meta analysis of 85 years research in selection methods still show IQ or GMA tests have the highest single method predictive validity of on the job performance r=.51, this is even higher than previous experience.  

For a test to be considered a valid measure it should have gone under peer review at either:

These are the test measurement standard organisations that “tests the test makers” before endorsing any new assessments. This has not happened in the case of Goleman’s EI (EQ) test.

WE ARE MEMBERS OF:
NZ Psychological Society
SIOP - Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology
ITC - International
Testing Commision

NZAPT - NZ Association of Psychological Type
APA - American Psychological Association

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