A Primer on Psychometrics

You may use a ruler to measure length, or a measuring cup to cook the perfect recipe- but how do you measure personality traits? Simple, through the use of psychometrics. This system of measurement is used within PQi® to analyze certain aspects of personality which contribute to one’s potential to build successful partnerships.
There have been many theories or approaches to assessing personality in psychology since the 1800’s, yet most center around identifying individual characteristics called ‘traits’, which are stable and consistent thought and behavior patterns a person develops as they grow. Psychometrics was refined by notable scientists including Charles Spearman and Wilhelm Wundt, and such traits were developed into personality ‘types’ by personality psychologists such as Isabel Briggs-Myers, with an explosion of ‘Big Five’ personality types emerging in the 1980s.
With a known good system of measurement proven and established, psychometrics continues to be widely used today to measure personality domains. Modern and likely familiar applications include the questions presented in a Myers-Briggs assessment (Myers, 1962), as well as the NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & Macrae, 1978) to measure the Big Five factors of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
As a valid and reliable system of measurement, PQi® has employed psychometrics as the vehicle to assess partnering potential. Using a Likert scale to assess a range of possible responses to each personality question item presented. The clients’ answers, in turn, provide an analyzable result – but how do we know this resulting PQi® type to be accurate?

Critical to the accuracy of any psychometric are two concepts- reliability and validity. A reliable measure is a consistent one, such as over time (external) or within the questions items themselves clustering together (internal). A valid survey measures what it is supposed to, such as the trustworthiness and independence of the concepts measures by the survey questions (internal) or that is make sense ‘in the real world’ (external ‘face’ validity).
You trust your measuring cup to reliably measure ½ cup as ½ cup, regardless of the liquid you pour in. You also know it’s a valid one in that it measures volumes of liquid. Imagine if your measuring cup was defective from the factory, and the ½ cup mark was placed much higher than it should be? You would still have a “reliable” measuring cup that continues to measure liquid, yet it would indeed no longer be a valid one.

Built in partnership with professors from Notre Dame and Arizona State University PQi® has been proven to be both a reliable and valid measure of trust orientations, and partner quotient ‘types’. PQi® measures an individual’s orientation to form partnerships, and we know it’s a reliable and valid reflection of this aptitude. Measures of reliability are commonly represented by Cronbach’s Alpha. To use the measuring cup analogy, we can conceptualize Cronbach’s Alpha as the marks on a measuring cup. With a rating of (α)= .87, PQi® is ‘internally reliable, ranking stronger than robust (.81) and fairly high (.76), but not too high- as to indicate repetition and overlap of types assessed. Therefore, we can conclude we are correctly measuring the ability to form trusting partnerships, just as we’d expect a ½ cup to be just that amount. Measures of validity are often displayed as correlations between questions, and PQi® is categorized as ‘Likely to be Useful’ according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Testing and Assessment, An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, with PQi® inter-item correlation of r=.21.

With a valid and reliable system of measurement, PQi® can be confidently employed across a wide variety of uses, such as developing world class trust-based partnership skills in individuals, trust-inducing managers, and organizational climates of trust. AchieveUnite’s PQI® upskilling program lead to longer lasting and more profitable partnerships