A seminar with an objective to combine limits of the psychometric tools, its significance, implications and its inherent challenges, recently held at the Centre of Psychometric Research, FORE School of Management, New Delhi.
A two day brain storming session and workshop in psychometric tools and their applications in organizations, along with the father figure of the India's psychological research study, Dr. Manas K Mandal, Director of Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), Ministry of Defence and other eminent research scholars from the field of Psychometry, was organized by Centre of Psychometric Research, FORE School of Management, New Delhi. The idea of the stimulating and well-designed workshop was to combine the factual information with a welcome honesty about the current limits of knowledge and to have the myth busted by having a better understanding of the psychometric tools, its significance, implications and its inherent challenges such as:
-- Understanding and Capitalizing on Cognitive Behavioral patterns of oneself and others makes it easier to work in a group and the results more productive?
-- Psychometric tools and analytics, is the only way for assessing Cognitive Abilities?
-- Significance of psychometric testing's in organization turns out always to be successful?
Keeping the objectives in mind, Dr. Manas K Mandal, who also specializes in the areas of Cognition, Experimental Neuropsychology, Strategic Behavioral Analysis, set the tone with some startling and thought provoking facts. Consider this:
-- 92% of corporate from the Fortune 500 relies upon Psychometric Test for employee engagement activities and implementing equal opportunity plans.
-- No surgeon in the US is allowed to perform surgery without having passed the psychometric tests.
-- 8000 engineers of DRDO, responsible for launching rockets, are selected through psychometric testing.
-- Entire armed forces the army, navy and air- force of most of the countries has to go through psychometric test.
This list goes on but the point is: Psychometric tools can help a lot in assessing a person's ability to perform on the job and the level of excellence one can achieve. So, where does one go wrong? Generally, organizations go wrong when it comes to the applications and interpretations. To choose the right tool one has to understand the context, content and intent of the test.
The "can-do" attributes: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities has to co-relate with the "Will do" attributes: personality, values, motivation.
The outcome of an interview depends on the heterogeneity of the panelist's assessments but often we fall prey to certain misconceptions like:
-- People with high IQ are better performers or have better personality
-- High achievers adjust in all domains People
-- Talented people can be identified easily
-- People of experience take better decisions or decision making is largely an intellectual activity
"Very soon couples planning to get married could be seen with a set of 200 questions in the form of psychometric test to understand the compatibility in various aspects of their conjugal life."
- Dr. Manas K Mandal
The intelligent human species often use many not-so-logical ways of thinking and reasoning. So does that mean that we simulate this to create artificially intelligent machines that do not just process huge quantity of information in record time but also help us to understand more human aspects of life? Answers to these questions and many more like this are complex in nature but research and analysis are being developed, as modern techniques evolve and relevant variables are sorted out from irrelevant ones, answers become increasingly meaningful.
Psychometrics today can provide an understanding of mental life from many different perspectives - cognitive and behavioral, psychological, biological and social. How the brain and behavior, genes and the environment, nature and nurture - interact.
"Psychometrics is no more restricted to the HR team and talent management, anymore", said Dr. Jitendra K Das - Director, FORE School of Management. He talked about "Neuro Marketing" a concept developed by psychologist at Harvard University and explained the usage of psychometrics in order to understand consumer behaviorisms, product designing often used by organization like Google, Frito Lay and others. XLRI - Jamshedpur, has introduced this new field of marketing studies in their curriculum. "The Centre for Psychometric Research at FORE, is also an initiative to have this introduced to our students and to give them an exposure of this new science" added Dr. Das.
The seminar was also addressed by eminent scientist from the field, Prof. N.K Chadha - Head, Dept. of Psychology, Delhi University and Dr. Anil Anand Pathak from MDI Gurgaon, who kept the participants enthralled with critical insights on 'Fundamental Interpersonal Relationship Orientation & Behavior' (FIRO-B) and how this assessment tool has helped people around the world unlock the mysteries of human interaction at work and in their personal life and an individual's needs for inclusion, control, and affection can shape his or her interactions with others.
The seminar cum workshop was well attended by large number of participants from academia ranging from Institute of Health Management Research, Bangalore, to Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior; from Symbiosis Pune to BIT Meshra and corporate leaders from Maruti Suzuki, Birla Sunlife, Apeejay, HCL to name a few.
While the applications may vary from Personal Effectiveness to Organizational Development and Change Management to Leadership Concerns, some of the challenges like- test to be chosen for a specific job; aligning the tests with ROI; validity of the test in a certain population; were found to be common by the diverse group of participants. To supplement the interpretations and to enhance results, contextually designed tests needs to be selected.