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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 30th October 2019
Description of the Test
The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) is a psychometric measure of dysfunctional dispositions – the ‘dark side’ of personality. It focuses on common dysfunctional dispositions and behaviours which can negatively impact on job performance and derail relationships and careers, particularly in leadership roles. This focus makes it different to the majority of personality questionnaires on the market. It contrasts with measures of ‘bright side’ personality such as the dimensions within the Five Factor Model, where people scoring higher on these dimensions are typically described in more positive terms.
The HDS has several forms - Form 5 is the latest and is the subject of this review. It measures 11 traits which were derived from DSM IV personality disorders, but reflect dysfunctional behaviours within the normal personality range. Each trait is reported on a separate scale, as follows: (1) Excitable; (2) Skeptical; (3) Cautious; (4) Reserved; (5) Leisurely; (6) Bold; (7) Mischievous; (8) Colorful; (9) Imaginative; (10) Diligent; (11) Dutiful. Additionally, each scale is represented by three subscales. Excitable: Volatile, Easily disappointed, No direction; Skeptical: Cynical, Mistrustful, Grudges; Cautious: Avoidant, Fearful, Unassertive; Reserved: Introverted, Unsocial, Tough; Leisurely: Passive Aggressive, Unappreciated, Irritated; Bold: Entitled, Overconfidence, Fantasized Talent; Mischievous: Risky, Impulsive, Manipulative; Colorful: Public Confidence, Distractible, Self-Display; Imaginative: Eccentric, Special Sensitivity, Creative thinking; Diligent: Standards, Perfectionistic, Organized; Dutiful: Indecisive, Ingratiating, Conforming. There is an additional ‘Unlikely Virtues’ scales to measure socially desirable responding although this is no longer used in reports.
According to the technical manual, individuals are normally distributed along the 11 primary traits and a given person may have high or low scores on any of the scales. Each scale comprises a total of 14 items rated on a 4-point Likert scale (Strongly disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly agree). Currently the scoring is collapsed into a dichotomous score (0=disagree, 1=agree) but the publishers indicate this is a temporary measure until sufficient data has been collected to build a new UK English and Global norm based on the 4-point response scale.
The 11 scales group into 3 or 4 factors based on principal components analyses that have been conducted on the different HDS forms over the years. These factors align to the themes identified by Karen Horney in her work on neurotic needs – ‘Moving towards people’ (managing one’s insecurities by building alliances), ‘Moving away from people’ (managing one’s feelings or inadequacies by avoiding connection with others) and ‘Moving against people’ (managing one’s self-doubts by dominating and intimidating others).
The HDS is intended to be used with adults within the normal population, not clinical, psychiatric, nor psychopathological samples. It can be used within selection and assessment processes, or in developmental contexts such as coaching and career development. While it is likely to be particularly salient for selection and development within management and leadership positions, it is relevant for employees at all levels.
The questionnaire itself was originally developed in US English and was subsequently adapted to UK English. It is typically completed online, although a paper and pencil version is available if necessary. In total, there are 168 items, with each scale consisting of 14 items each. Within each scale, there are three subscales, termed Homogeneous Item Composites (HICs). These subscales are designed to provide further insight into an individual’s score on a scale. Currently, one norm group is available for the UK English version which consists of 13,063 working adults.
In terms of demonstrating reliability and validity, a large number of studies have been conducted over the years which are reported in the Technical Manual. HDS has been related to a variety of measures of personality, values, preferences, Emotional Intelligence and cognitive ability. These studies are available in the Technical Manual.
There are a range of reports available for the HDS to suit specific contexts. These include reports designed for feedback to emerging and middle managers, and to provide leaders with insights into potential career derailers which could inhibit their working relationships and ability to build effective and cohesive teams.
Authors: Robert Hogan & Joyce Hogan
Test Publisher: Hatfield Jefferies