Hogan Personality Inventory


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Note: This test review was published by BPS on 1st January 2018

Description of the Test

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a trait measure of personality, based upon the California Psychological Inventory.  Originally published in 1992, the current version of the tool was released in 2007.  It is a personality instrument designed to assess normal personality in adults - predominantly in work and occupational settings for selection and development purposes, although it can be used in other non-clinical contexts, such as for research purposes and in counselling settings.  It is based on Socioanalytic Theory in which people desire to ‘get along’ with and ‘get ahead’ of other group members. This approach suggests that individuals respond to questionnaires as a way of informing others how they wish to be regarded.

The HPI is almost exclusively administered online in controlled mode (requiring a username and password), but it can be administered in pencil and paper format in exceptional circumstances.  In these cases, it is then scored electronically.

The HPI comprises 206 true/false personality statements.  Based on responses to these statements, test takers are scored on seven primary scales (Adjustment, Ambition, Sociability, Interpersonal Sensitivity, Prudence, Inquisitive and Learning Approach) that map the Five-Factor model, which are further subdivided into 41 Homogeneous Item Clusters (HICs), which represent facets of these scales.  Additionally, scores on six HPI Occupational Scales are generated for use with specific occupational groups such as managerial, sales and clerical staff.  The HPI also contains a validity scale to detect careless responding.

The seven primary scales are:

•Adjustment – calm and self-accepting versus self-critical or tense

•Ambition – socially self-confident, leader-like, competitive and energetic

•Sociability – extent a person needs to or enjoys interacting with others

•Interpersonal sensitivity – extent a person is seen as perceptive, tactful and socially sensitive

•Prudence – the degree an individual appears conscientious, conforming and dependable

•Inquisitive – extent an individual is seen as bright, creative and interested in intellectual matters

•Learning approach – the extent a person enjoys academic activities and values educational achievement

The six occupational scales are:

•Service Orientation – people who treat customers/colleagues in a courteous and helpful manner

•Stress Tolerance – the extent an individual can easily handle stress, pressure and heavy workloads

•Reliability – willingly follow rules and respect corporate values

•Clerical Potential – those with a talent for clerical work and administrative responsibilities

•Sales Potential – a talent for sales

•Managerial Potential – building and maintaining effective teams


The HPI is available in a range of languages, and has norm groups to represent a variety of local populations. There is a revised 2005 US norm group based on a sample of 156,614 US working adults as well as a UK norm group comprising 64,768 working adults’ data collected between August 2004 and September 2014.  The HPI also has a global norm, which aggregates data from the 46 different language versions of the HPI, and includes 171,132 cases.

HPI scale scores are normalised using percentiles and can be used to generate a wide range of reports for use in different occupational contexts.  Reports are available that focus on individuals and teams, entry level staff, managers/leaders (including first time managers), hourly employees, sales, and safety-critical roles. The ‘Insight’ report provides percentile scores for each primary and occupational scale as well as a graphical presentation of the HICs which comprise the primary/occupational scale. The test-taker is told that these HICs should be interpreted by a qualified Hogan coach. The report is developmental in its approach, providing a description of the scale, short descriptors of the test-taker’s personality in relation to a scale, and a series of discussion points which allow further exploration. The ‘Potential’ report interprets scale scores in relation to strengths and competencies for leadership. Again, this report is descriptive and developmental in nature, providing percentile scores, behavioural implications, leadership implications, competency analysis and developmental recommendations in relation to the competency analysis.

Test users do not need a specific professional qualification to use the HPI, but Hogan Assessment Systems require users to complete HPI training and certification.

Authors: Robert Hogan & Joyce Hogan

Test Publisher: Hogan Assessment Systems

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