Kinds of Assessments

Kinds of Assessments

There are several kinds of assessments:

  • Knowledge assessments test an individuals content knowledge of such areas as supervision, accounting, electronics, and hydraulic systems.
    There are specialized tests for these, some developed by trade associations, some by commercial testing companies.

  • Ability assessments measure an individual’s ability to perform some mental or physical task.
    Typing tests and computer literacy tests, are an example of this kind of assessment, as are verbal and quantitative tests. Some of the exercises in assessment center arrangements are also examples of ability assessments.
  • Interest assessments measure an individuals propensity for certain occupations or careers.
    The Strong Inventory is the best known and most rigorous assessment of this sort. We have used the Jackson Vocational Inventory to assist an Associate in career planning.
  • Personality assessments measure habits of thinking and valuing.
    They do this by asking the individual to describe themselves, by having them project their thoughts onto an ambiguous stimulus such as an ink spot, or by asking them to recount elements of their past.

Some psychological tests used by companies also assess signs of psychosis, neurosis, and other elements of mental illness.. These have held up in court only when the job clearly is one for which high emotional and psychic strength is a defined requirement, such as with police or fire-fighters.

There have been numerous suits related to invasion of privacy issues surrounding psychological testing. These include inquiry into past experiences and behavior, especially but not limited to sexual experiences and drug and alcohol use.

Using Assessments

A company’s chief interest in their human resources is in the skills those people bring to the company. Thus anything that will assist the company to identify the level of skills that exist, either in the candidate for hire or in the employed Associate, will be important.

Knowledge and skill assessments will give us this. The question is, which one is best for us at this time. On the administrative level, it is easy to measure one’s ability in word processing and in using specific software. On any level it is less easy to measure one’s approach to customers, one’s ability to organize thoughts and things, and one’s ability to focus on results and goals.

  1. One optionis to use an assessment that asks the individual how well they perform. This is obviously not ideal, especially in situations where sanctions are implied for not reporting high performance. It is like having a pianist tell us how well he plays, rather than have him play.
    Unfortunately, most of the assessments today are of this type. They rely on the self-report of the individual as to what they will or will not, can or cannot do. This is problematic for two reasons:

    • They may figure out the intent of the statements or questions they are being asked to respond to and bias their responses (either consciously or subconsciously)
    • They may not know themselves well enough to answer accurately.

    Examples of current assessments that fall under this limitation are the Myers-Briggs Trait Inventory, the Gordon Personal Profile-Inventory, the Human Synergistics Life Styles Inventory, and the Personal Profile System, Personalysis, and the Wonderlic ERI.

  2. Another optionis to use true psychological assessments to get at the depth personality of the person. This is impractical for several reasons:
    • These assessments cannot be used without professional supervision.
    • Some of the information available through this kind of assessment is in danger of being misused by managers who are not professional psychologists.
    • Many of the questions involved in these assessments are the kind being addressed in the courts currently as possible violations of privacy.

Using the Thinking Pattern ProfileTM

The Thinking Pattern Profile is a unique and highly satisfactory alternative to these assessments.

  1. The Thinking Pattern Profile is objective. It does not ask respondents to describe themselves. It has them do a task and picks up their decision-making pattern as they do the task.
  2. The Thinking Pattern Profile cannot be biased. Unlike most other assessments, there is no indication in the items as to how to influence the score. Since the output depends on sophisticated mathematics, the assessment merely picks up the pattern of thinking the person is actually using. If someone is trying to play with the profile and not taking it seriously, a report will not print out. The is a Rho statistic in the programming. This statistic indicates whether or not patterns in a body of data are random. In order for a pattern to be real and not accidental, the Rho score must be over 500. The Thinking Pattern Profile program will not print out a report unless the score is at least 750.
  3. The Thinking Pattern Profile does not invade one’s privacy. The respondent is asked nothing about themselves other than how they would rank sets of items. There is no reference to their childhood or their personal behavior or their private life.
  4. The Thinking Pattern Profile has been validated in a business environment. Validity and reliability testing was based on Dollar General Corporation’s entire workforce of over 40,000 people, from Cal Turner the President in Nashville, to the warehouse employees in Miami and everyone in between. Additional studies were conducted at Sara Lee Corporation, GTE, CUNY Mutual, Arthur Andersen, and HCA.
  5. The Thinking Pattern Profile does not discriminate. There is no difference in scores between races, genders, and age levels. The same bell curves were found with each group. In fact, in one study of marginal unemployables in Manhattan conducted by the American Institute of Banking, the data from the minority groups receiving the remedial training followed the same curve as a randomly drawn sample of management personnel.
    What this seems to point out is that the Thinking Pattern Profile measures actual thinking processes that all human beings share, and that each human being can personalize in a unique way. Hartman received the Nobel Peace Nomination for his devotion to studying just these processes.
  6. The Thinking Pattern Profile measures what is centrally relevant to an organization’s performance: a person’s thinking and decision making process. The Hartman make no assumptions about a person based on information they give about themselves. It measures simply, directly, and accurately, the pattern of that person’s thinking process.

In Conclusion

To sum up, the Thinking Pattern Profile is unique. Organizations required to obtain multiple bids when contracted for services, like the Postal Service, for instance, need no second bid when contracting for use of the Thinking Pattern Profile. They recognize that the objectivity and accuracy of this profile put it in a category by itself. Other assessments either touch only the surface, like the Myers-Briggs, or inappropriate, like the more clinical psychological assessments. The Thinking Pattern Profile is like an appropriately and skillfully focused x-ray next to the Polaroid-like assessments commonly used.

“The Thinking Pattern Profile has made a significant contribution to Rich-SeaPak. When we have not listened to what the profile told us, we have had problems. And the individuals profiled have affirmed the accuracy of the results with surprise and wonder.”

Jean Lydon, Executive Director,
Institute for Excellence, Rich-SeaPak Corporation.

To bring the Thinking Pattern Profile to your organization, call or email Dr. Connor at