A completely new level of quality
Why it is worth to invest time and effort in test development
Professor Dr. Samuel Greiff is Associate Professor of Educational Assessment at the University of Luxemburg and heads the research department of Computer-Based Assessment. This department is responsible for the development project of the LUXXprofile. We spoke with Professor Greiff about the reasons why his team is developing a LUXXprofile version for business users as well as a version for scientific researchers.
Professor Greiff, your department focuses on the research and development of novel psychological test assessment methods. Why do we need more innovative methods?
Greiff: Society is becoming increasingly more complex and so are the issues and problems that researchers explore. This is also true for topics such as learning and performance. Established cognitive methods such as intelligence tests are no longer sufficient to reflect this new degree of complexity. This is why, in recent years, combined methods that also include personality related performance aspects such as motivation have gained importance. Let me give you an example: We were commissioned by OECD to construct, conduct and evaluate an independent evaluation and verification study for the global PISA study. Among others, we were asked to find out whether international comparative studies between different educational systems are able to capture collaborative problem solving competence. A project the scale of PISA, with more than 50 countries participating, is quite demanding in view of such a validation. It speaks for the quality of our university that the OECD has consigned this study to us.
You plan to offer a LUXXprofile version for scientific research. Why is it sensible to have such a version?
Greiff: Initially, the research team headed by Dr. Christoph Kemper, which is in charge of the LUXXprofile development, engaged in conceptualizing motivational personality aspects and is currently validating the model. The team is breaking new ground, as quite a few existing personality tests are based on the primacy of face validity or have an insufficient theoretical basis. It is important to know: The more accurate the personality is supposed to be mapped, the more elaborate are the requirements for test construction. While Steven Reiss equally put his focus on empirical validation, his research dates back more than twenty years and he also took some ‘shortcuts’ during test construction. Our team is now applying the latest methods of test construction and is thus able to reach a completely new level of quality.
What are the main differences between the research and the coaching version?
Greiff: Both share the same conceptual basis. Differences evolve from the approach. Scientific research usually focuses on groups, e.g. professional groups or gender differences. The research version will therefore be constructed so that it can help assess group related questions. Coaching puts more emphasis on individual diagnosis and personal recommendation which is why this version requires a much more accurate measuring method and superior reliability. There has been tremendous development in methodology in recent years and this knowhow is an important factor that Christoph Kemper and his team contribute to the project.
Does the business user also benefit from this approach?
Greiff: More accurate measuring procedures allow for more complexity in mapping basic desires and verifying personality patterns. For example, questions that we find interesting and that are relevant for the business user are: How do the different basic desires relate to each other? Which motivational values frequently correlate with others? Which opposing values occur frequently? Which motivational values compensate others? This goes as far as predictive validity, i.e. the strength of prediction of the LUXXprofile to forecast future behavior of a person. Behavioral prediction will increase significantly in comparison to other test methods due to the amount of effort we put in test construction. Coaches and consultants will now have at their disposal a fact-based foundation never seen before in the market and they will be able to apply supporting interventions, which will positively impact performance and motivation of their clients and customers.
Photo: Samuel Greiff