PsyAsia Live at SIOP: PsyAsia’s consultants are currently attending the SIOP Conference in Chicago and posting brief summaries of the most interesting talks they attend. Here is one of them!
At PsyAsia we’ve been talking for years about the necessity of using narrowband traits when trying to predict performance at work from psychometric personality tests. Personality is complex and trying to summarize it under a few scales does nobody any favors, least of all the test candidates who you are assessing and in turn, the recruiting organization. In pursuit of increasingly simple tests that frankly assess little and even then do so unfairly, we come across people who show a strong preference for broadband tests. Broadband tests are useful in some scenarios, notably coaching, counselling, team-building and so on, where it would be impractical to try to explain to those involved the multitude of scales that narrowband tools assess. However, in high stakes recruitment and selection it is necessary to use tests which produce scales which are able to assess a complete range of personality variables and therefore allow for highest accuracy in work performance prediction.
This assertion was supported in PsyAsia’s own peer reviewed and published research in Asia and received further support in research presented at the SIOP conference. Narrow traits, also termed facets, did a better job of predicting performance in a number of work areas than higher level broadband traits. If you are using a test that has fewer than around 16 personality scales, you need to question how useful it really is. Multiple research streams are showing that such tools lack specificity and do not add sufficient predictiveness to the assessment process when compared with narrowband tools.
Note: All of PsyAsia’s Personality Tests are Narrowband tools that can also be systematically compounded to enable them to assess at a broad level should that be necessary.