Psychometrics Background Information

A Definition

The British Psychological Society definition of a psychometric test is 'a psychological test is any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person's capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways'.

What do Psychometric Tests Measure?

The tests may measure aptitude, personality or interests:

  1. Aptitude Tests – these measure how people differ in their ability to perform or carry out different tasks.  (these are the type you are most likely to find at the first stage of a selection process).
  2. Interest Tests – these measure how people vary in their motivation, in the direction and strength of their interests, and in their values and opinions (these are less likely to be used on new graduates but are sometimes).
  3. Personality Tests – these measure how people differ in their style or manner of doing things, and in the way they interact with their environment and other people (personality).
  4. Employee Satisfaction and Organisational Development surveys - For the sake of completeness MTA Group also includes surveys within its portfolio of tests. Carefully constructed Employee/O.D surveys are a powerful and effective tool for supporting action planning for organisational change, addressing employee engagement or focusing on customer issues.

Why Use Psychometrics in an Employment Setting?

The main advantages of using psychometric tests are:

  1. Objectivity - they dramatically reduce bias and personal perspective.
  2. Clarity - they provide a robust framework and structure.
  3. Equality and fairness for all individuals (tests are standardised so that all individuals receive the same treatment).
  4. Increase the likelihood of being able to predict future job performance (they have a high level of ‘predictive validity’).
  5. The identification of training needs.
  6. To ensure thorough job analysis that identifies the key skills and abilities so that candidates are assessed on skills only relevant to the job.