Chartered Industrial Psychologists

Scientific Approach

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.

Good Psychometric Assessments Have:

  • Extensive research behind them both by the test maker and by independent or academic researchers
  • 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... 
  • Passed the standards of test construction required to be endorsed and used by registered psychologists 
  • Been peer reviewed
Solving problems with science

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 businesses or consultants on the accuracy and utility of their tests and assessments can seem compelling.

Not only that but the peer reviewed journal articles and the assessment technical manuals are challenging reading for most non psychologists as they often include much technical jargon and you need training in research and scientific methods to critique the studies.

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.

Serious Test Makers Will:

  • Conduct extensive research on their tool prior to publishing it
  • Publish their studies in scientific journals where their research data, methods and conclusions are subject to peer critique and review
  • Submit their assessment to be peer reviewed by American Buros Institute or the British Psychological Society.
Serious test makers get their tests peer reviewed

Another example of a potentially misleading claim is from Daniel Goleman’s corporate partner Hay/McBer (this has been removed from their website since they merged with Korn Ferry):

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

There was no research evidence given for this claim on the old Hay/McBer website and papers such as the Schmidt, Oh & Shaffer (2016) analysed 100 years of research in selection methods showing IQ or GMA tests have the highest single method predictive validity of on the job performance r = .65, this is higher than previous on-the-job experience r =.13 and EQ r = .24.