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Organizational Psychology Testing

Organizational Psychology Testing

Organizational Psychology Testing

Every year our company administers a multiple choice test on various work related issues, pay, management confidence, satisfaction etc.  

Everyone must take it.  Most of the questions are the same every year.  The results are analyzed published and there are followed discussions and workgroups.  

I'm convinced the test is somehow a means to asses the group attitude beyond the overt intent of the questions.

I believe the follow up activity is to ensure folks take the test seriously, but I doubt the questions matter all that much, just so long as people take answering them seriously.

Does anybody know what type behavioral/attitude measurment tool this might be.  

I believe by administering the same test every year, the company psycholigists can establish a base line of some sort and profile the workforce as various environmental factors change over time.

I'd just like to know more about it.  I'm tempted to provide random answers, like swaping grocery cards to keep from being profiled.

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

The tool is clearly used to order The List.

The List determines the order in which individuals are asked to leave when things get tough.

If you're going to screw with their heads, just pretend you're perfect, from their perspective, when you take the test.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

I'm convinced the test is somehow a means to asses the group attitude beyond the overt intent of the questions.
I suggest you start wearing a tinfoil hat. Seriously, how can any question beyond the banal ever be proved to be entirely straightforward?

FWIW I ususally praise those around me and direct my venom towards the upper reaches of the company, pay and conditions and so on. Our survey is theoretically anonymous but so heavily stratified by supervisor, years of service etc that it would take little guesswork to establish who answered what.



Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

When these things come around I usually have two conflicting reactions:

(1)  Visualize Star Wars' Admiral Akbar turing away from the window and saying "It's a trap!" surprise

(2)  The axiom of "Never attribute to malice what is more accurately described by stupidity."  wink

On the one hand, we may all assume we have HR Weasels sneaking around plotting the career deaths of all of the malcontents employed by PerfectCompany, Inc.   ....probably not.

Then you may have Clueless Managers, who never come down from the stratosphere, sensing discontent from the rabble below them and want to know "why aren't the peasants happy?".  But they are focused on bottom line financial issues trying to keep the company alive and don't have any idea how to address real people-management problems.  So, without any real Psychology training they send out these surveys.  Which, in such an amateurish way of asking "what's wrong, bunky?" all it does is sow seeds of suspicion and mistrust.

They can be useful.  I remember one Miserable SOB Boss we all suffered through got marginalized and canned primarily due to survey results.  But a lot of people live this Entitlement Philosophy and think Perfect Jobs, Happy Days, Wealth, and Contentment are due them because they show up for work every day.  Wrong.  Many folks use these things to complain and "anonomously" give voice to their personal vendettas.  All bad.

If the survey medium allows it, I typically use these surveys to offer constructive criticism in a way that I would find useful if I was a manager running the company.  The personal complaints about people and personalities should be handled personnally, and face-to-face or through diplomatic intermediaries.  But the bottom line on this issue is that no one is holding a gun to anyone's head to stay at a company they don't like.  If effective culture/policy/methodology change can be accomplished through survey and other mechanisms, then by all means try to participate.  If not, then the Exit is the door on your left.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

A star to Greg for suggesting the tinfoil hat.

If you think they are out to get you, they probably are.

SW Office 2008 SP5.0
P4 3.0Ghz 3GB

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

...but as Kurt Cobain said,

"Just because you're paranoid
Don't mean they're NOT after you!"

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

"Never attribute to malice what is more accurately described by stupidity."

This I like. A star for it, too.


RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

Heard of a company that took IQ tests of everyone.

Guess what they found out.... Many of the manager types were "dumber" than those they were supposed to manage.

Even the people who made the suggestion had to take the test.  Guess what?? Same thing??

I never put too much weight into these things.

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

When I ran a business I tried one of these tests,
The results looked like the equivalent of standing on a stage being pelted with shoes, old bottles, and rotten vegetation, I never tried it again.

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

Greg, tyger,

I think you guys are too trusting or naive. I'm not an expert in psychobabble, and I do believe some vast areas of the field can just be discarded without loss, but there is no denying that people not logical and can be manipulated.

There is a lot of credibly good, and profitable scientific work done toward that end. Industrial psychobabble was one of my humanities electives years ago.

I came away from that class recognizing agreeing with the professor that what he called "face validity" with regard to profiling employees was useless, but unfortunately stood up in may courts.

The point was, many interview questions on an application or questionnaire that seem to make sense, really tell you nothing about the person that answered the questions.

Great studies are not conducted by setting people down with and saying, "hey c'mon, all kidding aside, what do you really think?" What people say maps to what they want you to hear or think about them. What people do is a better insight into what they believe.

I recently found a particular study on the internet, that interested me for reasons unrelated to this thread.

Opinions and Social Pressure Asch ->

It's amazing because they were able to get test subjects to claim they saw something other that what they were obviously shown almost 40% of the time using peer pressure.

In order to conduct the study, the test subjects were led to believe something entirely different was going on. That's one credible way to conduct psychology studies; there are other methods that also probably work.

Anybody that just pumps a survey out there to maybe 300, 000 people asking them how happy they are with their salary or boss, is wasting their money. In a well-designed study, those are the throwaway questions put there to set the stage and divert the test subjects' attention from the structure of the evaluation.

In the paper the test subjects believed they were participating in a study on sign interpretation. In fact, it was a study on how their answers varied when they answered after hearing the answers of 7 actors posing as other test subjects.

One of the best tools any confidence scammer has is the marks own sense that he's much to smart to be scammed.

RE: Organizational Psychology Testing

Keep in mind that a natural tendency; when taking psychology tests, personality assessments tests, or the like; is to attempt to outsmart the test or skew the results.  It is more prevalent as the IQ of the person increases.

In an attempt to circumvent this tendency, questions are often asked in a slightly different manner, multiple times.  That is not always successful, but the framers of the test questions will still attempt to manipulate the tester-taker, just as the test-taker will attempt to manipulate the test result.  Who wins?

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