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Predictive Index (PI)

The Predictive Index® (PI®) is a theory-based, self-report measurement of normal, adult, work-related personality that was developed and validated for use within occupational and organizational populations.

The PI is used for a variety of human resource management (HRM) purposes, including employee selection, executive on-boarding, leadership development, succession planning, performance coaching, team-building and organizational culture change, among others. Using the PI to increase understanding of the particular strengths and characteristics of staff members can also help increase employee engagement and productivity and decrease staff turnover.

The test employs a free-choice (as opposed to forced-choice) response format, in which individuals are presented with two lists of descriptive adjectives, both containing 86 items, and are asked to endorse those which they feel describe them (the “self” domain), and then those which they feel coincide with how they feel others expect them to behave (the “self-concept” domain). Summing across these two domains yields a third implied domain (the “synthesis”), which can be interpreted as reflecting an employee’s observable behavior in the workplace.

The assessment is un-timed, generally takes approximately five to ten minutes to complete, and is available in paper-and-pencil, desktop and Web-based formats.

The PI measures four primary and fundamental personality constructs:

1. Dominance: The degree to which an individual seeks to control his or her environment. Individuals who score high on this dimension are independent, assertive and self-confident. Individuals who score low on this dimension are agreeable, cooperative and accommodating.

2. Extroversion: The degree to which an individual seeks social interaction with other people. Individuals who score high on this dimension are outgoing, persuasive and socially-poised. Individuals who score low on this dimension are serious, introspective and task-oriented.

3. Patience: The degree to which an individual seeks consistency and stability in his or her environment. Individuals who score high on this dimension are patient, consistent and deliberate. Individuals who score low on this dimension are fast-paced, urgent and intense.

4. Formality: The degree to which an individual seeks to conform to formal rules and structure. Individuals who score high on this dimension are organized, precise and self-disciplined. Individuals who score low on this dimension are informal, casual and uninhibited.

The PI® also measures two secondary personality constructs, which are derived from a combination of each of the four primary personality constructs described previously:

1. Decision-making: Measures how an individual processes information and makes decisions. Individuals who score high on this dimension are objective, logical and are primarily influenced by facts and data. Individuals who score low on this dimension are subjective, intuitive and are primarily influenced by feelings and emotions.

2. Response level: Measures an individual’s overall responsiveness to the environment, which is reflected in his or her energy, activity level and stamina. Individuals who score high on this dimension have an enhanced capacity to sustain activity and tolerate stress over longer periods of time. Individuals who score low on this dimension have less of this capacity.

The PI has been in wide-spread commercial use since 1955. Minor revisions were made to the assessment in 1958, 1963, 1988 and 1992 to improve the PI’s psychometric (psychological testing) properties and to ensure that each of the individual items on the assessment conformed to appropriate and contemporary language norms.

The PI is currently used by over 8,000 organizations across a wide variety of industries and company sizes and is available in 70 languages including Braille. In 2013, over two million people around the world completed the PI assessment.

See an introduction to the Predictive Index:

This was last updated in September 2015

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