What is psychometrics : meaning and test example

Psychometrics will help you gain insight on a person's cognitive abilities and behavioral tendencies. Learn more in this article!


Christine Chartrand

VP Consulting Services

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Psychometrics will help you gain insight on a person's cognitive abilities and behavioral tendencies. Learn more in this article!

When you hear the word “psychometrics”, whats the first thing that comes to mind? You might think it's a field of study that's hard to understand, but Atmanco aims to simplify it for you.

You may have already looked it up online in the dictionary, in which case, the following would have popped-up: “The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits”. This formal definition covers various methods and types of testing, including mental tests and psychological tests.

In simpler terms, the purpose of psychometrics is to gain individual differences in cognitive abilities, as well as personality and behavioral tendencies. Factor analysis and statistical methods often come into play.

Although the term “psychometrics” might seem complex, don't fret. You gotta dig deeper and explore its utility. It's not just a psychometric approach but a way to understand human abilities. In order to demystify the process of psychometric testing, here are a few things to consider.

There is no failure, only feedback

Apart from aptitude tests that have right or wrong responses, other psychometrics tests like personality types assessments do not. In fact, it is the time for your candidate or employee to be honest. Adaptive testing can ensure a more tailored approach, making the process less intimidating.

The natural reflexes reflect who someone is, and one must not put someone at fault for being themselves. The point to retain as you are analyzing the psychometric test results is: there are no good or bad profiles. If a psychometric test yields results of a personality that are not suited for a position, this does not mean a person has botched the questionnaire, it simply means that their natural tendencies are best suited somewhere else.

An effective psychometric test will yield measures that are easily digestible for HR professionals. These insights facilitate development and self-actualization. So, it's not just about marking weaknesses but illuminating distinctive types of strengths.

I know what you’re thinking, how can we avoid the chances of someone “cheating” or falsely answering the questions in order to be seen in a better light? The fact of the matter is, you cannot be in full control of how candidates will respond or if they will overestimate themselves.

Although many psychometrics have social desirability scores in order to help detect one’s tendency to want to be viewed more favorably by others, this is more of an indicator to help you dig deeper and ask more questions. Trust that your candidates will display honesty, as the psychological tests are meticulously crafted. Their nuanced items go beyond mere right or wrong answers. They promote authenticity, probing multiple dimensions of a candidate's personality.

Making use of a psychometric test should not end once the candidate is recruited. Organizations can use the feedback in these reports to help understand, motivate, delegate and coach the employee the best way possible, and use their strengths in the right roles. Don’t just put a psychometric report in a drawer once the selection process is over. This is valuable information you can use long-term.

Looking beyond what is in front of you with psychometrics

If you are an HR professional, chances are you have a pretty good idea of how to inquire and ask the right questions to allow a candidates true self to emerge. However, sometimes the driving force for someone’s performance is more deep seeded and difficult to uncover in the few hours you have together.

And sometimes appearances can be deceiving, applicants inflate their skills and competencies in order to be seen in a better light, or the opposite, are so reserved in the interview process that recruiters automatically perceive them as a no-go.

Candidates may unknowingly hide a key strength that may be sought after for a position and thus hinder their capacity to find a suitable job without even realizing it. Authenticity may not be as easy to spot and therefore incorporating a psychometric test within your recruitment process can enlighten or back-up your already expert judgment.

Has this already happened to you? You and your colleague finish interviewing a candidate for position ABC and decide to debrief together. You believe the candidate to be competent and perfect for the job, you want to hire him. Your colleague, on the other hand, thinks he is a far cry from what she is looking for and is against your decision.

Who is right? Was one of your judgments based on a feeling, a hunch, or did he really deliver in the interview?

Preferences are difficult to argue, but there is a solution; a psychometric test may be just the thing you both need to get clarity. Call it a common denominator if you will. Something that brings objectivity to the table and can help you build your case. A “blue print” of a candidate’s natural reflexes (abilities that come natural to him), his motivations and strengths, right at your fingertips, and at times, not as obvious as you might have thought.

Creating awareness

Psychometrics can be an interesting way to create a sense of awareness within your organization: self-awareness and the awareness of how others are built and motivated. It is not about “fixing” someone but seeing their natural potential, even if different from your own, and learning to appreciate it. It’s about approaching someone the way they want and/or need to be approached, and aligning their strengths with tasks and responsibilities that can benefit from them.

Boosting self-awareness can also help individuals in their career paths or life in general. It may explain why someone feels as though they are swimming against the current in certain situations. Being aware of the differences that exist among peers and that there is “no one size fits all” approach is important whether you are a manager, HR professional or in any setting for that matter.

Many organizations are using psychometrics today in their selection process. Their aim? To gain a deeper understanding of a candidate's constitution, and assess if their strengths and natural reflexes align well with the position or organizational culture.

You're curious about the real essence of psychometrics? Have someone on your team try the Atman test today. Discover how this methodology can be a game-changer in understanding human abilities and unveiling the true potential of your team!


Can you really "fail" a psychometric test?

No, you cannot truly "fail" a psychometric test, as these assessments are designed to measure various psychological variables like aptitude, personality traits, and cognitive abilities rather than yield a pass-or-fail result. In the realm of psychometric testing, there are no good or bad profiles; the outcomes simply indicate where your natural tendencies and strengths lie, which may or may not align with a particular role or job requirement.

How are organizations currently using psychometrics in their selection process?

Organizations are integrating psychometrics into their selection process to delve deeper into candidates' constitutions, evaluating if their natural reflexes, strengths, and motivations align well with the job role or the organizational culture. These tests offer a more comprehensive and objective assessment than traditional interviews alone, aiding in the selection of candidates who are genuinely suited for the position.

What is the Atman test and how can it revolutionize your team's potential?

The Atman test is a specific type of psychometric assessment designed to uncover the true potential of team members by measuring various psychological variables such as aptitude, personality traits, and behavioral tendencies. Utilizing the Atman test can be a game-changer in team dynamics, as it provides actionable insights that help in aligning strengths with tasks and responsibilities, ultimately boosting team cohesion, productivity, and long-term success.

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