Are psychometrics used in the public sector?

Are psychometrics used in the public sector?

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If it is used, how is it used? Where is it used? Which countries are using?

The wide majority of companies have different tests to measure different cognitive and personality features.

First of all IQ (intelligence quotient) - is a total score derived from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence.

It helps filter applicants before even meeting them. (IQ is the highest predictor of educational and work success)

Secondly, there are personality tests. Imagine you're looking for a lawyer. A lawyer preferably should be very emotionally stable and argumentative. In psychometric language, this can be measured with Big Five Personality Test - Low agreeableness and low neuroticism.

There are cooler psychometric tests that are in essence better than Big Five Personality, but they are not commonly used, because of their length or difficulty of analysis.

I'm going to list my personal favorite psychometrics here:

  1. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
  2. Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory
  3. The Alternative DSM-5 Model for Personality Disorders

But this psychometrics are more useful for clinical/forensic settings rather than Human Resources.

Hope this helps.

As you’ve probably seen on network TV, forensic and public service psychologists play important roles within the public safety and judicial systems. They conduct evaluations that inform and guide legal proceedings — from decisions regarding child custody to the competency of a defendant to stand trial. Others help select police officers and train first responders or work with returning veterans after a deployment.

Increasing Eyewitness Accuracy in Police Lineups

Criminal Justice Section Newsletter

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Level of difficulty

Different assessments are designed to measure different skills or abilities at particular levels.

The level of difficulty of an assessment should be appropriate to the specific role. An assessment that is too easy will not differentiate between individuals with good or poor potential. An assessment that is too difficult can result in candidates being wrongfully excluded.

For psychometric tests, an accredited person should advise on choosing a test at the appropriate level of difficulty for the role.

Hot Helping Career

In addition to the thrill of helping others, some careers come with the added advantage of fast growth, which means excellent job opportunities. The fastest growing career in the field of psychology today is that of Industrial Organizational Psychologist.

Most of us spend a third of our life in the office. Given the vast amount of time that is spent at work, making the workplace much more friendly, professional and enjoyable is a must. That’s where industrial organizational psychologists come in. They work closely with businesses and companies to create a more pleasant working atmosphere. Using proven psychology methods and research, they contribute to enhancing everything from hiring and firing decisions to improving employee morale and productivity.

The working world has taken note of just how important industrial organizational psychologists are, and they are rewarding the profession with high growth rate numbers and a nice salary. Here’s a breakdown of what those interested in the profession can expect:

$76,950 median wage in 2014 (BLS)

The following states offer the highest pay:

By far the fastest growing profession in the nation, with 53 percent growth expected from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS.

All numbers courtesy Projections Central:

A master’s degree is the minimum to enter the field many choose to enhance their prospects by earning the doctorate.

Recognition of workplace bullying: a qualitative study of women targets in the public sector

Workplace bullying is increasingly acknowledged as a major workplace stressor in the UK and Europe. However, identification and recognition of workplace bullying remain problematic, among targets and within organisations. This paper reports a qualitative study which explored experiences of bullying among ten British women targets, all public sector professionals. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and analysed using grounded theory methods. Findings showed how these targets struggled to identify and cope with bullying. Major themes or processes identified from targets' accounts included: minimising interpersonal difficulties preserving self maintaining commitments to professional and organisational values and cultures sickness explanations and naming the problem. This research has implications for the development of coping strategies by targets and organisations, and raises questions about the type of support needed to facilitate recognition of workplace bullying. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Expert Evidence: The (Unfulfilled) Promise of Daubert

By D. DeMatteo, S. Fishel, and A. Tansey, Drexel University

Analyzing the psychological assessment tools used in court

The psychological tools Neal and colleagues assessed included aptitude tests (e.g., general cognitive and ability tests), achievement tests (e.g., tests of knowledge or skills), and personality tests. They analyzed measures designed to assess adults and youth that could be used to address questions such as competence to stand trial, violence risk, sexual offender risk, mental state at the time of the offense, sentencing, disability, child custody, civil commitment, child protection, civil tort, guardianship, competency to consent to treatment, juvenile transfer to adult court, fitness for duty, and capacity to waive Miranda rights (the right to remain silent). A team of coders classified ach tool for its general acceptance in the field (i.e., on the basis of published surveys, do experienced mental-health experts frequently use and endorse these tools), whether it had been subjected to testing, whether its testing had been peer reviewed, and for its technical and psychometric quality. The overall evaluation of the technical and psychometric quality of each tool relied on information about the tool’s performance in forensic contexts and its psychometric qualities (e.g., validity), as reported in the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY), Strauss and colleagues’ (2006) compendium of neuropsychological tests, and Grisso’s (2003) forensic competencies compendium.

Most of the tools used in courts (90%) have been subjected to testing, but information about general acceptance was available for only about half of them. Of the tools for which general acceptance data were available, only about two thirds could be considered generally accepted by the psychological community at large, and a third were clearly not accepted. Moreover, only 40% had favorable reviews of their psychometric and technical properties in authorities like the MMY. These findings indicate that there are many psychometrically strong tests used by psychologists in forensic practice, but not all of the tests used are generally accepted or have been evaluated as having high technical and psychometric qualities.

Courts’ scrutiny of psychological assessment evidence

Judges aim to apply admissibility criteria to the psychological assessment tools used in court, but they also seem to struggle to apply these criteria, which may lead assessments to rarely be challenged or scrutinized in court, even when they should be. Neal and colleagues focused the analysis on whether 30 psychological tools of the 364 studied earlier tended to be discussed and challenged by the courts. They screened a database of federal courts from 2016 to 2018 and identified 372 cases that had involved the use of at least one of the 30 tools of interest. For each case, they determined whether the tool’s admissibility had been challenged and, if so, on what grounds and with what result. Of the 372 cases, only 19 involved a challenge to a tool’s admissibility or the admissibility of testimony relying on the tool, and in only 6 cases was the psychological-assessment evidence ruled inadmissible. Most of the challenges focused on fit (i.e., does the tool serve to inform about the type of problem at issue) or validity (i.e., does the tool measure what it purports to measure), and the first resulted in more rejections of the testimony than the latter. Also, there was little relation between a tool’s quality and the likelihood of its being challenged: The three tools reviewed as most unfavorable and not generally accepted were not challenged at all.

Suggestions for psychologists, law practitioners, and members of the public

Given the mixed quality of the assessment tools used in court and the low level of challenges these face, the authors suggest that psychological scientists should create stronger measures and encourage experts to use tools that are valid and suitable for the task at hand. Specifically, Neal and colleagues point out that practitioners should be aware that a tool might be valid only for specific purposes (i.e., context-relevant validity). The authors also suggest that attorneys and judges have access to low-cost or free online resources that might help them get basic information about the different tools—for example, the MMY provides information about purpose, appropriate population, score ranges, and quality for more than 3,500 tests. Law practitioners would thus be in a better place to evaluate the foundations of an expert’s testimony and whether the information given by the tool is relevant to the case. Similarly, members of the public interacting with psychologists in the legal system (e.g., litigants) could also procure information about psychological tools so that they can discuss them with their attorneys during the legal process. Overall, Neal and colleagues hope that their findings encourage psychological scientists, psychologists serving as experts in legal contexts, attorneys and judges, and members of the public to improve their own and others’ knowledge about psychological assessment and to question these tools more often. This way, psychological experts involved in legal cases might produce the highest quality of practice, Neal and colleagues suggest.

Criteria for admissibility of scientific evidence in court—Daubert

Reliability vs. Validity

It is important to note that just because a test has reliability it does not mean that it has validity. Validity refers to whether or not a test really measures what it claims to measure.  

Think of reliability as a measure of precision and validity as a measure of accuracy. In some cases, a test might be reliable, but not valid.

For example, imagine that job applicants are taking a test to determine if they possess a particular personality trait. ​While the test might produce consistent results, it might not actually be measuring the trait that it purports to measure.


To advance and promote psychology for the benefit of all, one of the CPA’s four objectives is to improve the health and welfare of all Canadians.

Psychology is an important part of the social fabric of Canada. Canada is a big and diverse country. The information in this section is designed to make it less confusing and to help Canadians and people from abroad understand:

  • how psychology is organized in Canada
  • what psychologists do, how to find one, and what to expect from one
  • how psychologists and psychology graduates are educated, trained and/or regulated
  • the career options available in psychology

Our university psychology departments conduct research in a wide range of areas including neurosciences, health science, and social science. They also teach and train our students, our next generation of psychologists and psychology graduates.

Psychology services are provided in schools, private practices, businesses, health clinics, hospitals, jails, courts, social welfare agencies, rehabilitation centres, and workplaces to name a few. These services are provided by governments or in the private sector.

Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for public psychological services and the regulation of psychology.

Foreign nationals interested in studying or working in Canada within the field of psychology can find useful facts on the study and practice of psychology here.

Factors associated with patterns of psychological distress, alcohol use and social network among Australian mineworkers

Objective: To investigate the convergence of individual findings relating to psychological distress, alcohol use and social network (SN) to identify their associated clusters within Australian mineworkers.

Methods: This study used cross-sectional survey data from 3,056 participants across 12 Australian mines. Latent class analysis used the scores of Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and Social Network Index.

Results: Class 1 (moderate to very high psychological distress, low SN score and low to moderate AUDIT) included 39% (n=1,178) participants and class 2 (low to moderate psychological distress and AUDIT and very high SN) composed of 61% (n=1,873) participants. Class 1 was associated with younger age (OR=0.65, 95%CI=0.53-0.81), being a current smoker (OR=1.45, 95%CI=1.18-1.79), and reporting a history of anxiety (OR=3.00, 95%CI=2.23-4.05) and/or depression (OR=2.18, 95%CI=1.65-2.90).

Conclusions: These findings highlight the challenges the mining sector faces regarding the welfare of its employees. Implications for public health: Modifiable work factors associated with lower social networks and higher psychological distress need addressing at an individual and industry level through targeted and specifically tailored multi-component interventions.

Keywords: alcohol use latent class analysis mineworkers psychological distress social network.

Watch the video: What is an online psychometric assessment? (August 2022).